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Twitter abuse pair set to be sentenced on January 24

The pair who pleaded guilty to sending abusive tweets to a feminist campaigner are due to be sentenced on January 24 at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

John Nimmo was released on conditional bail while Isabella Sorley was remanded in custody.

District Judge Howard Riddle warned Sorley it was "almost inevitable" that she would receive a jail sentence.

He told Nimmo, described to the court as a "social recluse", that "all options" remained open.

Feminist campaigner 'hugely relieved' over guilty pleas

The feminist campaigner who received abuse on Twitter said she was "hugely relieved" that defendants John Nimmo and Isabella Sorley have pleaded guilty.

Caroline Criado-Perez tweeted: "This is not a joyful day, these two abusers reflect a small drop in the ocean, both in terms of the abuse I received across July and August, but also in terms of the abuse that other women receive online.

"I hope that for some people who are watching, this conviction will be a warning: online abuse is not consequence-free".

Ms Criado-Perez added that she will stay off Twitter as much as possible today "as inevitably the renewed attention will mean renewed abuse".


Campaigner 'suffered life-changing effects' over tweets

Feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez "suffered life-changing psychological effects" from the abuse she received on Twitter following her successful campaign to get a woman on British banknotes, a court heard.

Prosecutor Alison Morgan told Westminster Magistrates' Court, "In particular, the menacing nature of the tweets sent by both defendants caused her significant fear that they would find her and carry out their threats."

Caroline Criado-Perez received abusive messages from some 86 Twitter accounts, the court heard. Credit: Chris Ratcliffe/PA Wire

Ms Criado-Perez received abusive messages "of one type or another" from some 86 Twitter accounts, including those accounts attributed to defendants John Nimmo and Isabella Sorley.

Nimmo and Sorley have pleaded guilty to sending "menacing" tweets to Ms Criado-Perez.

Pair sent 'menacing' tweets to feminist campaigner

John Nimmo and Isabella Sorley pleaded guilty to sending "menacing" tweets to a feminist campaigner following her successful campaign to ensure a woman features on British banknotes.

Nimmo, 25, and Sorley, 23, admitted a charge of sending the messages in July last year to Caroline Criado-Perez.

John Nimmo and Isabella Sorley pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates' Court. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

The pair sent the tweets after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney revealed that Pride and Prejudice author Jane Austen would replace Charles Darwin as the face of the £10 note.

The announcement was hailed as a "brilliant day for women" by Ms Criado-Perez.

Twitter UK boss: 'Relevant parties' have been contacted

Tony Wang, the general manager of Twitter in the UK, said the company had "engaged with the relevant parties" over complaints of online harassment against a feminist campaigner.

An option to report abuse from within Twitter apps and websites would be launched soon, he suggested:

A man arrested on suspicion of Twitter harassment was bailed this afternoon, police said earlier.


Man arrested over Twitter harassment claims bailed

A man arrested on suspicion of Twitter harassment offences has been bailed until September, police said.

A 21-year-old man was arrested on Sunday 28 July in the Manchester area on suspicion of harassment offences.

The arrest is in connection with an allegation of malicious communications received by officers in Camden on Thursday, 25 July.

The man has been bailed until a date in mid-September.

Enquiries continue by detectives from Camden police.

– Metropolitan Police

Twitter will expand 'report abuse' function

Twitter said it plans to include a button for reporting abuse within every tweet, amid a growing furore over online threats to rape and kill a feminist campaigner.

The ability to report individual Tweets for abuse is currently available on Twitter for iPhone, and we plan to bring this functionality to other platforms, including Android and the web.

We don't comment on individual accounts. However, we have rules which people agree to abide by when they sign up to Twitter.

We will suspend accounts that once reported to us, are found to be in breach of our rules. We encourage users to report an account for violation of the Twitter rules by using one of our report forms.

– Twitter spokesman

Twitter victim: It's not about being able to hack it

A high-profile feminist who has experienced abuse on Twitter told ITV that the social networking site needs to enforce its own terms of service and acknowledge there is a problem.

Helen Lewis, New Statesman deputy editor and member of campaigning group Women in Journalism said:

We've been campaigning for years now and that's behind the frustration that there's no action and the onus is on the victim to act.

In some cases of online abuse, like that of US feminist blogger Anita Sarkeesian who was sent death threats, there is evidence of accounts that sent them are active. Why do people feel they have the right to send death threats?

This isn't just a case of women not being able to hack it on the internet, like we're lily-livered victims. These threats are intended to undermine and intimidate you and that is a freedom of speech issue itself.

– Helen Lewis
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