“A landmark legal battle is set to unfold between a mother-of-two who says she was arrested for identifying a transgender woman as male, and the alleged victim who has repeatedly reported Twitter users to police for harassment.
38-year-old Kate Scottow from Hertfordshire says that her life has been turned upside down since police arrived at her house on December 1 last year to arrest her, bring her to a station, take her DNA and fingerprints, before opening an investigation that still hasn’t been resolved.
‘I was arrested in my home by three officers, with my autistic ten-year-old daughter and breastfed 20-month-old son present,’ Scottow wrote on popular online forum Mumsnet.
‘I was then detained for seven hours in a cell with no sanitary products (which I said I needed) before being interviewed then later released under investigation… I was arrested for harassment and malicious communications because I called someone out and misgendered them on Twitter.’
Scottow says that her laptop and mobile phone have been retained as evidence, preventing her from working on her Masters degree in forensic psychology…
The entire investigation was started following a complaint by Stephanie Hayden. She first became widely known last year after comedy writer Graham Linehan was issued with a police caution for ‘deadnaming’ her – referring to her as ‘Tony’ after her birth name Anthony Halliday…
Ironically for someone who has become the symbol of increased police attention on Twitter hate speech crimes (though she insists she is not an activist) Hayden reportedly has a criminal record herself.
Legal news site RollOnFriday reported last year that in 1999, while still Anthony Halliday, she was convicted of assaulting a man with a golf club, while abusing her victim as a ‘big fat bastard.’ During the sentencing the judge noted Halliday’s previous convictions for disorderly behavior and dishonesty.
‘Are we getting to the PC tipping point yet? This is insane and has to stop,’ tweeted Donald Trump Jr.”