Police investigate mum over transgender pronoun error

Using the wrong pronoun on Twitter after a debate on transgender children resulted in a five-month police investigation of a Catholic reporter.

The transgender person’s mother, Susie Green – who has since dropped the charges – informed the Police of the pronoun offence.

The reporter, Caroline Farrow, then became the subject of a police investigation that began last September,

Farrow, a broadcaster and writer for Catholic newspapers, said she had a phone call from a police officer on Monday this week asking her to attend an interview. At the time she said she wasn’t sure why she was called in.

“The only thing I can think of is that I may have referred to a 23-year-old transgender woman as someone’s son”, she said.

She added that she would “happily do jail time” for her “right to say that people cannot change sex.

“I try at all times to be polite on Twitter, but it is my belief on both a religious and scientific basis that you cannot change the sex into which you were born.”

Farrow said police told her that, because she had ‘misgendered’ an individual by using the wrong pronoun, she could have committed an offence under the Malicious Communications Act.

Sentences for those found guilty under this Act can be as long as two years.

The law makes it a crime to send messages that are indecent or grossly offensive, threatening, or contain information which is false or believed to be false, if the purpose for sending it is to cause distress or anxiety.

Green, who contacted the police, accused Farrow of mutilating and castrating Jackie, her transgender daughter.

After the police contacted Farrow this week, Green decided to withdraw her complaint because the case was leading to the spread of misinformation.

She is chief executive of the transgender children’s charity Mermaids.

Green said she decided to withdraw the complaint against Farrow because of widespread reports that the dispute had only been about “misgendering”.

“If I had continued my complaint, then [Farrow] would have continued to have a platform to spread misinformation about what actually happened,” she said.

“Being involved in an investigation would have meant that I couldn’t talk.”

She claims a tweet sent by Farrow on 4 October last year, and subsequently deleted, read: “What she did to her own son is illegal. She mutilated him by having him castrated and rendered sterile while he was still a child.”

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News category: World.

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