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Mother who called transgender woman “he” on Twitter is cleared of wrongdoing in UK court

Prime Minister Boris Johnson criticized the chilling arrest.
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A British woman has managed to lodge a successful appeal against a court verdict that found her guilty of causing “annoyance and anxiety” to a transgender woman during their online interactions.

The woman, Kate Scottow, was accused by Stephanie Hayden for what was termed as significant online abuse taking place on Twitter, and then in late 2018 arrested in her home, in front of her two children, to, according to her testimony, be detained in a cell for seven hours before being questioned.

Hayden, who is a transgender woman and an activist, seems to have taken most offense at being referred to as a “he,” i.e., a man, although the St. Albans court heard from the plaintiff that Scottow also insulted her by referring to her as “a pig in a wig.”

There was also an accusation of racism, which Hayden said she received from the “Busted Wench” account operated by Scottow, and to which the activist said she took great offense.

But Hayden is now very disappointed with the outcome of the appeals process, saying that the court’s reasoning for overturning the guilty verdict and conviction would not be known until the judgment is revealed. The prosecution also said they were awaiting the judgment in order to decide how to proceed.

Scottow is not Hayden’s highest profile “victim” – previously, iconic Father Ted sitcom creator Graham Linehan received a verbal harassment warning thanks to a report by Hayden, who said Linehan used the names and pronouns she used previously when referring to her on Twitter.

And, reports said, Hayden, whose gender recognition certificate arrived the same year, also managed to force the Mumsnet website to unmask an anonymous user she said was guilty of bullying her. That case, that played out in the spring of 2019, was described as “landmark.”

Scottow, for her part, announced the outcome of the appeals of Twitter, saying her record had been cleared of a conviction and that she is a free person now.

At the time of Hayden’s report and Scottow’s arrest, now British PM Boris Johnson said it amounted to abuse – both of “manpower and police facilities,” arguing that these could better serve their communities by fighting crime.

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