UK man jailed for 18 weeks for trolling MP via Twitter

Keyboard warriors, Internet trolls, think twice before you post a vile comment. You're not as safe behind your computer screens as you think.

A man in the UK was jailed for 18 weeks on Monday for a campaign of rape threats and other abuse that he carried out on Twitter against a Member of Parliament.

Among the tweets was one discussing the "best way to rape a witch". 

Peter Nunn, 33, also wrote: “If you can’t threaten to rape a celebrity, what is the point in having them?”

Widespread Twitter abuse

The part-time delivery driver targeted opposition Labour MP Stella Creasy in July and August last year after she backed a campaign to put author Jane Austen on the £10 British banknote.

Creasy and feminist Caroline Criado-Perez, who led the campaign, said they were terrified after being subjected to widespread Twitter abuse for their views.

Nunn denied a charge of sending indecent, obscene or menacing messages, but was found guilty earlier this month.

He had claimed he sent the messages to exercise his right to freedom of speech and to “satirise” the issue of online trolling, and declared himself in his trial to be a feminist.

'Distress and fear'

Judge Elizabeth Roscoe said his behaviour was “entirely unacceptable", and imposed a restraining order banning him from contact with either Ms Creasy or Ms Criado-Perez.

Ms Creasy welcomed his sentencing as “a step forward in recognising the distress and fear online harassment can cause", but urged better training for police to ensure they identified the risks of online “trolls”.

Ms Criado-Perez wrote on a blog: "This man made me fear for my life as no-one ever has before. I felt he was a clear and present threat to me."

"He made me scared to go outside, to appear in public. He stopped me being able to sleep; being able to work. He seemed obsessed enough to carry out his threats."

Source: AFP

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