UK & World News
Twitter Abuse: Pair Admit 'Menacing' Messages
A man and a woman have admitted sending "menacing" tweets to a feminist campaigner who wanted a female face on the new £10 banknote.
Isabella Sorley, 23, and John Nimmo, 25, both pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates' Court to posting the messages to Caroline Criado-Perez last July.
Ms Criado-Perez was subjected to abuse from 86 accounts on microblogging site Twitter, the court heard.
It came after she successfully called for 19th century novelist Jane Austen to be put on the note.
Sorley told Ms Criado-Perez to kill herself and said "I would do a lot worse things than rape you".
Sorley said she was drunk and bored when she sent the tweets, described the threats as "empty" and that she was just winding Ms Criado-Perez up.
The court also heard Nimmo told Ms Criado-Perez: "Come to Geordie land b****. What do you think the police will do?"
Nimmo was described in court as a social recluse who claims benefits and only goes out to empty the bins.
Ms Criado-Perez found the tweets horrifying and frightening and has suffered life-changing psychological effects since the incident, it was claimed.
Labour MP Stella Creasy was said to have also been targeted when she came to the defence of the freelance journalist.
Ms Creasy has feared for the safety of herself and family, the court heard.
Ms Criado-Perez helped persuade the Bank of England to replace Charles Darwin with Austen on the new £10 from 2017, following a petition signed by more than 35,000 people.
The announcement by the Bank was hailed as a "brilliant day for women" by Ms Criado-Perez.
And it followed news last April that social reformer Elizabeth Fry was to be dropped from the £5 note in favour of Winston Churchill.
The Crown Prosecution Service had announced last month that Sorley, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Nimmo, of South Shields, were both charged.
However, the CPS said it would not be in the public interest to prosecute over messages allegedly sent to Ms Creasy.
Sorley was remanded in custody and Nimmo was bailed. The case was adjourned until January 24.
:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.