The mother of two from the United Kingdom who was arrested in 2018 for allegedly referring to a transgender woman as a man in social media interactions is now on trial for the misdeed — specifically for “using a public communications network to cause annoyance, inconvenience, and anxiety,” theDaily Mail reported.
What’s the background?
Three officers detained Kate Scottow of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, at her home before questioning her at a police station on Dec. 1, 2018, over a Twitter exchange with transgender activist Stephanie Hayden.
This. Should. Not. Be. A. Legal. Matter. #IStandWithKateScottow https://t.co/3YSE6xPgdr
“I was arrested in my home by three officers, with my autistic 10-year-old daughter and breastfed 20-month-old son present,” Scottow wrote on the Mumsnet online forum, theDaily Mail saidin an earlier story. “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.”
At the time, Scottow had her photograph, DNA, and fingerprints taken — and authorities also took her cellphone and laptop.
Hertfordshire Police confirmed the arrest, the outlet said, and noted that “we take all reports of malicious communication seriously.” Scottow waschargedfor malicious communication late last summer.
What’s happening at the trial?
Hayden said the defendant referred to Hayden as “he” or “him” during a period of “significant online abuse,” the Daily Mail noted, adding that Hayden also is involved in similar legal disputes with others.
“I am litigious, I put my hands up,” Hayden said during cross examination, the outlet noted. “I use the law if I feel I have to use the law. That is a right I have got as a citizen of this country. I cannot tell you how many because, quite frankly, there have been a fair few.”
Scottow’s lawyer also said Hayden has been in criminal courts 11 times for 21 offenses and spent six months in prison for obtaining property deception in years past, the Daily Mail noted.
Scottow also accused Hayden of posting a racist tweet, after which Hayden contacted a staff member at the defendant’s university to raise concerns, the outlet said.
In addition, when police were interviewing Scottow at her home after Hayden’s accusations, Scottow referred to Hayden as a “he” — and police officers corrected Scottow, who apologized, the Daily Mail said.