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Two guilty over 'menacing' tweets to feminist campaigner

Woman remanded in custody, man bailed until later this month

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A 23-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man admitted today that they had sent "menacing" messages to a feminist campaigner on Twitter.

John Nimmo of Moreland Road, South Shields and Isabella Sorley of Akinside House, Akinside Hill, Newcastle-upon-Tyne both pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates' Court this afternoon. Sorley was remanded into custody while Nimmo was freed on bail, ahead of their sentencing hearing on 24 January.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed in December that Nimmo and Sorley had been charged with the same alleged offence under section 127(1)(a) of the Communications Act 2003 - sending by means of a public electronic communications network messages which are menacing in character.

Nimmo was arrested on 30 July, while Sorley was cuffed by Scotland Yard officers on 22 October.

Caroline Criado-Perez, who in mid-2013 successfully campaigned for the face of novelist Jane Austen to appear on English banknotes, made a formal statement to police in July that year about being harassed online.

She went to the cops after being repeatedly sent threats of rape and violence. The abuse first appeared on the day the Bank of England confirmed that Austen's face would be printed on £10 notes, she claimed at the time.

Labour MP Stella Creasy claimed last summer that she also had become the victim of vile abuse on Twitter. The politico took her complaint to police after she received death threats sent from anonymous accounts on the micro-blogging site.

However, the CPS said last month - citing former Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer's recent guidelines on abusive messages sent over social media - that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute suspects relating to the messages received by Creasy on the micro-blogging site. ®

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