Jarrow MP Kate Osborne vows not to give in to abuse after woman is convicted of 'homophobic' harassment

A South Tyneside MP has vowed not to give in to abuse after a constituent was convicted of harassing her.

Jarrow MP Kate Osborne was speaking after a trial at South Tyneside Magistrates Court this morning, Friday, August 26.

Fifty-three-year-old Susan Dematas had denied a charge of harassment without violence which consisted of her confronting Ms Osborne in August last year and tweeting about her three times.

The Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed the Tweets were ‘of a homophobic nature’.

The case was adjourned to September 16 for sentence and Demetas, of Falmouth Drive, Jarrow, was released on conditional bail.

Ms Osborne later released a statement outlining her reaction: “The defendant was found guilty of harassment without violence, with the judge remarking on the homophobic content,” it said.

"The homophobic abuse I have been subject to has been totally unacceptable and has no place in our local community or society as a whole.

“Sadly, these types of instances seem to be taking place more often, with a rising tide of abuse and aggression shown towards MPs being dismissed as just part of the job. For an LGBTQ+ woman the abuse often includes sexist and homophobic attacks.”

Jarrow MP Kate Osborne

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She said legitimate criticism of MPs was fine but abuse was never right: “We must, of course, hold all elected representatives accountable for their actions and I am proud of my record of standing up for workers and for a better fairer society - abuse, however, is unacceptable.

“Separately to this case, there has been a number of incidents of abuse in my constituency with abusive graffiti and stickers - designed to intimidate.

“I will not give in to this – as this case shows I will report it to the police when necessary and I will continue being out in my constituency of Jarrow, representing my community without fear of this hatred, using my platform to campaign for a better, more tolerant society.

“I would like to thank both my sister and my team who have helped me through this stressful time, and the police for their support in pursuing the case.”