Blogger faces jail after guilty verdict in Bexley twitter trial

18:24 17 April 2012

John Michael Kerlen was convicted at Bexley Magistrates Court

John Michael Kerlen was convicted at Bexley Magistrates Court

Archant

A blogger faces up to six months in prison after being found guilty of posting offensive tweets about a Bexley councillor.

John Graham Kerlen, who blogs under the name Sir Olly C, was convicted at Bexley Magistrates Court on Friday (13).

He pleaded not guilty in a hearing at the same court on March 15.

The 37-year-old, who runs the blog www.youve-been-cromwelled.org, was found guilty of sending a grossly offensive and menacing message over a public communications network under the communications act.

The conviction relates to a tweet Kerlen posted about Crayford Conservative councillor Melvin Seymour last October.

In January, Kerlen, of Millwards, Essex, was found not guilty of harassment for the same tweets after the prosecution offered no evidence.

He had already been prevented from blogging about the case and Bexley councillors following a restraining order issued last December.

A Bexley council statement said: “The council supports the decision of the court in this case.

“The council is totally supportive of freedom of expression and legitimate political debate, however we are of the view that Mr Kerlen’s actions went beyond the limits of what is acceptable and reasonable in terms of freedom of expression.”

Kerlen has been granted bail and will be sentenced at Bromley Magistrates Court on May 9.

He has indicated he will appeal following sentencing.

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