There was much gloating in Trolland last week, when it emerged that a man – whom I will refer to as “A” – had pleaded guilty to a charge of malicious communications in a magistrates’ court, and received a modest fine. He also agreed to undertake some community service.
Thus far, the complainant has not commented on the case. Given her desire to promote herself on the domestic violence conference circuit as an abuse victim, however, I suspect she will not be quiet for long. Those who are familiar with my blog can no doubt make an informed guess of whom I speak.
In reality, the case was a storm in a teacup. I will comment on some of the detail further below. It can be seen as yet another episode in a long-running feud in which the complainant has – for some years now – given as good as she got. Indeed, she makes her aggression part of her brand, as the tweets below show:
some men are soft and gentle, some women aggressive and domineering, I.e me. (8/12/2015)
not many women are as aggressive and frankly unpleasant as I am. And men know this (13/11/17)
I am repeatedly described as ‘aggressive’… (18/11/17)
On 1 December 2018, she spoke of “the limitations of my own aggressive personality”. Today, she tweeted: “I consider myself sensible and robust but others tell me I am ‘aggressive’, ‘rude’, ‘hateful’ etc, etc. “
Yet she is quick to run to authority figures to complain of harassment or worse, if someone responds to her in kind. This is rank hypocrisy. As one respected legal blogger told her in February 2017: “Words don’t become criminal depending on whether they’re hurtful.” And he laid it on the line to her:
… if you can’t take it don’t dish it out. Police have better things to do.
Well, quite. This complainant – a barrister – has for some years now made no secret of her implacable animus against the unfortunate Mr A, who has had quite enough to contend with in his life, both during his childhood when he was taken into care and more recently, without her piling on the agony.
As long ago as January 2017, this barrister got into the arena with two notorious trolls, who had also reported Mr A to the police. After the CPS later dropped that case in 2017, she repeatedly attacked Mr A as a “continuing abusive stalker of women in particular” and a “persistent stalker and harasser of women”. By “women”, she was clearly referring to the embittered complainants in that case, and propagating their view of him.
She also disparaged Mr A as a “sad unemployable”, and a “dear, sweet, sad, wrongly accused man”, tweeting:
if [A] represents pinnacle of human evolution after 1000s of yrs I have to conclude that God is real – and He hates us.
You can see that she likes dishing it out, can’t you?
Now, I may be wrong, but I think that many people would think it deplorable that a practising barrister should publicly vilify someone who has been acquitted. Bear in mind that she has never even met him: she has only heard about him from others, including the unsuccessful complainants, who are evidently ill-disposed towards him. Aside from these virulent attacks on her public Twitter feed, I can report that she also bad-mouthed Mr A to any authority figure she could find.
It gets worse. She has viciously attacked one of the defence witnesses (a “Mr B”) in that case in almost identical terms. In conversation with one of the embittered complainants, she also spoke of Mr B in the following derogatory vein: “the lonely late night cries of a frustrated Internet stalker, attempting to locate his micro penis? #lovelyimages” and “Anything that isn’t a keyboard or a micro penis, is unlikely to ever be pounded by [B].”
I would regard these tweets as sex-based slurs.
These men are not the only objects of this unpleasant woman’s online denigration. When someone tweeted her, identifying as a disabled adult, she responded: “Welcome crippled friend” (13/7/17). Now come on. You don’t call someone identifying as a disabled adult these days “crippled”. When she was taken to task over this, she doubled down, claiming that she described herself as “crippled” (15/7/17). Curiously, a quick search of her blog and her two Twitter handles showed that she had done no such thing. You don’t think she just made this up, do you?
Now let’s take a look at the Bar Standards Board’s Social Media Policy, issued earlier that year. It states (inter alia):
Comments designed to demean or insult are likely to diminish public trust and confidence in the profession (CD5).
It’s notable that the BSB has steadfastly refused to entertain complaints about persistently demeaning and insulting language used by this particular barrister. Apparently, it has granted her immunity from compliance with its own published policy. The reasonable reader will no doubt wonder why.
Now let’s get back to Mr A. It seems that he published a blog early last July in which he voiced harsh criticisms of this lady, referencing his own experience of child protection lawyers, and referred to her address for her campaigning website on the subject of child protection. Now, I should explain that she had put her address into the public domain along with her telephone number, when she registered her website some years before. She had also published it to all her followers on 5 July 2017.
Notwithstanding, she responded peremptorily to this blog, tweeting that the reference to her address should be removed, and threatening Mr A with the police if he did not comply within an hour. She also complained of “abusive and threatening content” (unspecified). It seems that Mr A had referred to her disparagingly as “trans”. Now this was inaccurate as she is not, as far as I am aware, trans; although, as noted, she repeatedly highlights her own aggression, acknowledging that it is atypical for a woman.
Evidently, it seems that Mr A had had enough, and ignored her public ultimatum. This was unwise, though perhaps understandable, given the background of her unrelenting insults.
It seems she did then report him to the police, and managed to persuade them to charge him!
On 12 September 2018, she posted the following threat:
Anyone who publishes my home address – I will report you to the police and I will support your prosecution.
This is extraordinary behaviour by a barrister who, as I have pointed out, has repeatedly put her address into the public domain herself. Someone needs to explain to this woman that her own repeated publications have removed any quality of confidentiality or privacy from that information.
Call me cynical, but I would not be at all surprised to learn that she omitted to mention her own prior publications of her address to the police.
This woman also likes to invoke – when it is expedient – the fact that she has a daughter, who she has recently informed the world is now aged 14. Here we run into a further anomaly. Both the barrister and her daughter are active users of Instagram. The latter signed up to Instagram aged 11 – two years below the legal age when Instagram accepts minor users. Mother and daughter post their activities and their locations on a regular basis. The latter’s name and school are publicly accessible information.
In addition, the barrister regularly tweets about her activities and locations in real time, including the town where she lives. She has posted numerous photographs of the interior of her house, and intimate pictures of her offspring.
I am struggling, I must say, to understand how she can peremptorily demand police intervention, after being comparatively cavalier about her own privacy – and that of her daughter.
She is clearly trying both to have her cake and eat it.