Mum thrown in cell for 7 HOURS – for call­ing trans woman a man

The Mail on Sunday - - News - By Martin Beck­ford HOME AF­FAIRS ED­I­TOR

A MOTHER was ar­rested in front of her chil­dren and locked up for seven hours after re­fer­ring to a trans­gen­der woman as a man on­line.

Three of­fi­cers de­tained Kate Scot­tow at her home be­fore quizzing her at a po­lice sta­tion about an ar­gu­ment with an ac­tivist on Twit­ter over so-called ‘dead­nam­ing’.

The 38- year- old, from Hitchin, Hert­ford­shire, had her pho­to­graph, DNA and fin­ger­prints taken and re­mains un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

More than two months after her ar­rest on De­cem­ber 1, she has had nei­ther her mo­bile phone or lap­top re­turned, which she says is ham­per­ing her stud­ies for a Mas­ters in foren­sic psy­chol­ogy.

Writ­ing on on­line fo­rum Mum­snet, Mrs Scot­tow – who has also been served with a court or­der that bans her from re­fer­ring to her ac­cuser as a man – claimed: ‘I was ar­rested in my home by three of­fi­cers, with my autis­tic ten-year-old daugh­ter and breast­fed 20-month- old son present. 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.’

Con­firm­ing the ar­rest, Hert­ford­shire Po­lice said: ‘We take all re­ports of ma­li­cious com­mu­ni­ca­tion se­ri­ously.’

The case is the lat­est where po­lice have been ac­cused of be­ing heavy­handed in deal­ing with peo­ple who go on­line to de­bate gen­der is­sues.

Sit­com writer Graham Line­han was given a ver­bal ha­rass­ment warn­ing by West York­shire Po­lice after trans­gen­der ac­tivist Stephanie Hayden re­ported him for re­fer­ring to her by her pre­vi­ous names and pro­nouns on Twit­ter. It was com­plaints by Miss Hayden that led both to the ar­rest of, and in­junc­tion against, Mrs Scot­tow.

High Court pa­pers ob­tained by The Mail on Sun­day de­tail how Mrs Scot­tow is ac­cused of a ‘cam­paign of tar­geted ha­rass­ment’ against Miss Hayden, al­legedly mo­ti­vated by her ‘sta­tus as a trans­gen­der woman’.

The pa­pers claim that, as a ‘toxic’ de­bate raged on­line over plans to al­low peo­ple to ‘self-ID’ as an­other gen­der, Mrs Scot­tow t weeted ‘defam­a­tory’ mes­sages about Miss Hayden. She is also al­leged to have used ac­counts in two names to ‘ha­rass, de­fame, and pub­lish deroga­tory and defam­a­tory tweets’ about Miss Hayden, in­clud­ing re­fer­ring to her as male, stat­ing she was ‘racist, xeno­pho­bic and a crook’ and mock­ing her as a ‘fake lawyer’.

Mrs Scot­tow de­nied ha­rass­ing or defaming Miss Hayden and said she holds a ‘gen­uine and rea­son­able be­lief’ that a hu­man ‘can­not prac­ti­cally speak­ing change sex’, but Deputy Judge Ja­son Coppel QC is­sued an in­terim in­junc­tion that bans her from post­ing any per­sonal in­for­ma­tion about Miss Hayden on so­cial me­dia, ‘ref­er­enc­ing her as a man’ or link­ing her to her ‘for­mer male iden­tity’. Mrs Scot­tow last night de­clined to com­ment.

ON­LINE ROW: Kate Scot­tow, left, made re­marks about Stephanie Hayden, right

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