Trans woman called ‘pig in a wig’ in campaign of online abuse faces her alleged harasser in court
Stephanie Hayden, a trans woman who was called a “racist” and a “pig in a wig” during a campaign of online abuse, appeared in court on February 6 to give evidence against her alleged harasser.
Hayden told St Albans Magistrates Court about the protracted online abuse she suffered, starting around September 2018, which she alleges was conducted by Kate Scottow, 38.
Hayden said, on the first day of the trial, that she was receiving upsetting and anti-trans messages from a number of users at the time but one in particular stood out, using the name “Busted Wench”.
According to The Daily Mail, she told the court: “Among all the things I had received at that time, I got a tweet which basically described me as a racist. I was very offended… In the context of the pile-on I was receiving, I felt that that could be very inflammatory in generating more abuse. Describing me as a racist.”
Stephanie Hayden said she did some research and allegedly discovered that Scottow was behind the account and that she was also targeting other trans people.
Hayden began civil proceedings, but said they reached a “compromise agreement” that Scottow signed, agreeing to no longer refer to her on Twitter or call her “racist”.
But despite the agreement, Hayden told the court that Scottow made another Twitter account and began posting about her again, misgendering her and once again referring to her as “racist”.
Hayden told the court: “I looked at the tweets on the account, there were a number of tweets which were not only targeting me, they were targeting other people who were either transgender or who were perceived to be supportive of transgender people.
“When I observed the tweets that the defendant was referring to me in, the defendant was referring to me with male pronouns, he/him.
“This is the problem with these people, this is just done to annoy people like me. It is calculated to violate, in my case, my dignity as a woman. It is basically calculated to, excuse my language madam, p*ss us off. It is unnecessary and it is just harassment.”
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Crown prosecutor John Riley told the court that Scottow had made two new Twitter accounts, and said: “This sequence of events seems to have started off with the reference to racism at the beginning and then she reacted to that.
“There was, in the sequence, a county court matter where there was an agreement not to communicate or contact or make reference to this complainant.
“The Crown would say that there was a breach of that order.”
The lawyer defending Scottow, Diane Wilson, said that Hayden was a “fraudster and a serial litigant” who had had a string of previous convictions since 1996 including affray, breaches of community orders, making false representations with a view to gain and attempting to gain property by deception.
The judge allowed a bad character application, which means lawyers will be able to question Hayden about her previous convictions.
The trial continues.