A man retweeted menacing messages threatening to rape an MP after she supported a campaign to feature Jane Austen on the 10 note, a court has heard.
Peter Nunn allegedly bombarded Labour MP Stella Creasy with abuse during a campaign of “hatred”, branding her a “witch”.
Ms Creasy had backed a high-profile campaign launched by feminist Caroline Criado-Perez to keep a woman on a British bank note, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.
Alison Morgan, prosecuting, told the court that Nunn “embarked on a campaign of hatred in various different forms towards both women” last summer when the campaign was at the centre of media reports.
The prosecution said he began leaving offensive posts on July 29 – five days after the Bank of England revealed Austen would be the new face of the 10 note.
He allegedly retweeted a message sent to Ms Creasy which read: “You better watch your back, I’m going to rape your **** at 8pm and put the video all over.”
Ms Morgan said: “It is not alleged that he created the text and the threat, but for whatever reason he chose to retweet it and it is a message that is menacing in character.”
Over the next day he sent a barrage of other offensive messages to the London MP using the Twitter account @protectys, it is claimed.
Later that evening he allegedly posted: “If you can’t threaten to rape a celebrity, what is the point in having them?”
At 10pm that night, half an hour before Ms Criado-Perez and Ms Creasy were due to appear on the BBC show Newsnight to talk about the Twitter abuse they had endured, Nunn left another tweet branding the MP an “evil witch”.
The court also heard that Ms Criado-Perez received a barrage of abuse on Twitter.
Ms Morgan said: “It is right to say that beyond the confines of this particular case, Ms Criado-Perez received a significant number of offensive tweets to her Twitter account from many different users, but including the accounts attributed to this defendant.”
Nunn was arrested at his home Emersons Green, Bristol, on August 7 after Ms Creasy and Ms Criado-Perez reported his abuse.
When questioned by police he admitted retweeting messages that were violent, but said he did “to further debate”.
He denies sending a message that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character by a public electronic network between July 28 and August 5 last year.
19 May 2014 | 4:23 pm – Source: orange.co.uk