Father Ted writer Graham Linehan warned by police after ‘trolling’ transgender activist Sunday Times 07.1018
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Graham Linehan, the co-writer of Father Ted, has been given a verbal harassment warning by West Yorkshire police following a complaint by a transgender activist that he “trolled” her.
Linehan, who declined to comment last night, was visited by police following the allegation by Stephanie Hayden, with whom he has clashed on Twitter. Originally from Dublin, the writer currently lives in Norwich.
On Friday he locked his Twitter account citing “abuse and harassment” as the reason. In the same tweet, Linehan highlighted a petition he had signed calling on Stonewall, an LGBT charity, to acknowledge the conflict that exists between “transgenderism and sex-based women’s rights”. The petition calls for a “respectful debate” on the issue, and contends that Stonewall is failing to recognise the diversity of viewpoints on transgender issues, including among LGBT people.
Alison Moyet, the singer, left Twitter due to a backlash after signing the petition. Linehan has clashed repeatedly on the social media network with Hayden.
On Thursday Hayden tweeted that she was suing Linehan for defamation, harassment and misusing private information.
Linehan claims Hayden tweeted details of his wife’s business to “shut me up”. Hayden alleges Linehan is a “transphobe” who referred to her former male identity in his tweets. She claims he breached her privacy, as her former identity was known to only a small group of people.
Hayden says West Yorkshire police told her that a 50-year-old male in the Norfolk area was given a verbal harassment warning and “advised as to his future conduct on social media”.
A harassment warning is neither a conviction nor an admission of guilt, but can be used as evidence in any future prosecution, she added.