Two plead guilty to sending Caroline Criado-Perez abusive tweets

15:17 07 January 2014

Caroline Criado-Perez. Picture: Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Caroline Criado-Perez. Picture: Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images

2013 Getty Images

Two people have admitted sending abusive tweets to feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez following her successful bid to ensure a woman features on British banknotes.

John Nimmo, 25, and Isabella Sorley, 23, today pleaded guilty a charge of sending the messages in July last year to the 29-year-old student.

Nimmo, from Moreland Road, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, and Sorley, from Akenside House, Akenside Hill, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, sent the tweets after the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney revealed that Pride and Prejudice author Jane Austen would replace Charles Darwin as the face of the £10 note.

The announcement was hailed as a “brilliant day for women” by Ms Criado-Perez who led a high profile campaign to ensure a female face on British banknotes in the wake of the Bank’s announcement in April that social reformer Elizabeth Fry was to be dropped from the £5 note in favour of Winston Churchill.

Ms Criado-Perez said today was “not a joyful day” because the two convictions were just a “small drop in the ocean”.

“I am hugely relieved that these two defendants have pleaded guilty, meaning that there is no need for a trial and for the whole process to drag on longer - it has already dragged on for almost six months, with all the attendant anxiety you’d expect.

“This is not a joyful day; these two abusers reflect a small drop in the ocean, both in terms of the amount of abuse I received across July and August, but also in terms of the abuse that other women receive online - women who have little to no recourse to justice.

“However, I hope that for some people who are watching, this conviction will be a warning: online abuse is not consequence-free. I hope that some people watching will think twice before abusing someone else.”