UK pair sentenced for Twitter abuse of feminist

AP News
Posted: Jan 24, 2014 1:28 PM

LONDON (AP) — A man and woman were jailed Friday for using Twitter to abuse a prominent feminist campaigner.

The two were sentenced for sending vulgar and threatening messages to activist Caroline Criado-Perez.

Judge Howard Riddle sentenced Isabella Sorley, 23, to 12 weeks in prison and 25-year-old John Nimmo to eight weeks.

The pair, who had pleaded guilty to sending menacing tweets, peppered Criado-Perez with the abusive messages after she led a successful campaign to have novelist Jane Austen put on a British banknote.

Criado-Perez, who did not attend the hearing at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court, said she was relieved the judge had understood "how terrifying and scarring the whole experience has been for me."

She was one of several women who went public last year to complain about sexually explicit abuse received on Twitter from online bullies and provocateurs, often nicknamed "trolls."

Twitter responded in August by making it easier to report abuse.