UK

Caroline Criado-Perez Twitter Troll Isabella Sorley Given 12 Weeks Jail Sentence

24/01/2014 15:43 GMT | Updated 24/01/2014 16:59 GMT
Sean Dempsey/PA Wire
Isabella Sorley, 23, from Newcastle, arriving at Westminster Magistrates Court, London, where she and John Nimmo are to appear in court charged with improper use of a communications network in relation to tweets to campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez.

Two people who subjected feminist Caroline Criado-Perez to abuse on Twitter have been handed jail sentences.

Isabella Sorley, 23, was jailed for 12 weeks at Westminster Magistrates' Court while co-defendant John Nimmo, 25, was jailed for eight weeks.

Sorley used Twitter to tell Criado-Perez to "f*** off and die you worthless piece of crap", "go kill yourself" and "rape is the last of your worries".

Nimmo told her to "shut up bitch" and "Ya not that gd looking to rape u be fine" followed by "I will find you (smiley face)" and then the message "rape her nice ass", Westminster Magistrates' Court heard.

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Sentencing Sorley to 12 weeks in prison and Nimmo to eight weeks, Judge Howard Riddle said it was "hard to imagine more extreme threats".

The pair bombarded Ms Criado-Perez with the abusive messages last year after she led a successful campaign using social media for a female figure to appear on a Bank of England note.

Judge Riddle said that, despite the defendants' claims, the harm threatened against Ms Criado-Perez "must have been intended to be very high".

Unemployed Nimmo also targeted his abuse at Stella Creasy, the Labour MP for Walthamstow, with the message "The things I cud do to u (smiley face)", calling her "Dumb blond bitch".

The judge said the effect of the abuse on Ms Criado-Perez had been "life- changing".

She describes "panic and fear and horror," he said.

He added that it had also had a "substantial" impact on Ms Creasy, who has had a panic button installed in her home.

The judge said of the abusive tweets: "The fact that they were anonymous heightened the fear.

"The victims had no way of knowing how dangerous the people making the threats were, whether they had just come out of prison, or how to recognise and avoid them if they came across them in public."