UK & World News
Twitter Trolls Jailed For Sending Abusive Tweets
Two people who sent abusive and menacing tweets to banknote campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez and Labour MP Stella Creasy have been jailed.
Isabella Sorley, 23, and John Nimmo, 25, posted dozens of abusive tweets against both women before they were arrested.
Senior district judge Howard Riddle jailed Sorley for 12 weeks and Nimmo for eight weeks as well as ordering them to pay £400 compensation to each victim.
Earlier this month the pair pleaded guilty to sending the menacing tweets, admitting they were among the users of 86 separate Twitter accounts from which Ms Criado-Perez had received abusive messages.
Passing sentence at Westminster Magistrates Court, Judge Riddle said that both victims had suffered substantially as a result of the abuse.
He said Ms Criado-Perez had faced "panic, fear and horror" adding that she feared the "abusers would find her and carry out the threats. She felt hunted."
She responded to the sentencing on Twitter, saying: "I feel immensely relieved that the judge clearly has understood the severity of the impact this abuse has had on me." She said the compensation would be given to charity.
Of Ms Creasy the judge said: "She became concerned for her safety to the extent that she had to alter her behaviour. She had a panic button installed in her home."
As he passed sentence Sorley shook her head and looked to the floor while Nimmo stared straight ahead, showing no emotion.
Sean Caulfield, defending Sorley, told the court his client was "articulate and intelligent" and there was "disconnect" between her and the person that sent the messages.
He said they were sent in a half-hour window between 2.25am and 2.55am last July 30 when she was under the influence of alcohol and she was "horrified and appalled" at what she had done.
The court also heard how she had 25 previous convictions, mostly for being drunk and disorderly but she had also been convicted twice of assaulting police.
At the time of the Twitter abuse last summer Ms Criado-Perez was leading an ultimately successful campaign to have women featured on British banknotes.
Police launched an investigation after both she and Walthamstow MP Ms Creasy complained about the vile tweets.
Sorley used Twitter to tell Ms Criado-Perez to "f*** off and die you worthless piece of crap", "go kill yourself" and "rape is the last of your worries".
She also deluged Ms Criado-Perez with menacing messages claiming that she had just been released from prison, writing: "I will find you and you don't want to know what I will do when I do, you're pathetic, kill yourself before I do."
Sorley, from Newcastle upon Tyne, has a 2:1 degree in creative advertising from Leeds College of Art and was working in an Asda supermarket in Newcastle at the time. She has since lost her job.
Unemployed Nimmo told Ms Criado-Perez to "shut up bitch" and "Ya not that gd looking to rape u be fine" followed by "I will find you (smiley face)".
In an attack on Ms Creasy, Nimmo, from South Shields, said:"The things I cud do to u (smiley face)", calling her "Dumb blond bitch."
Ms Creasy responded to Nimmo's message of "Dumb blonde bitch" with the message "That's dumb Dr blonde bitch to you".
"Love it at least u can have a laugh," Nimmo responded, to which Ms Creasy said: "I'm not having a laugh, I'm cataloguing your vile conduct #takebacktwitter".
In court his solicitor Paul Kennedy described him as a "recluse and sad individual" adding that he had no previous convictions and was sorry for what he did.
Sorley's brother, who was in court with two holdalls carrying her belongings in the hope his sister would not be jailed, left without making any comment.
Before the early hearing, Sorley posted a picture of herself on her Twitter page posing outside Buckingham Palace with the message "just chilling at the queens".
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