Jarrow MP Kate Osborne will give compensation to charity helping LGBTQ+ people after woman sentenced over homophobic tweets and harassment
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Susan Dematas, 53, of Falmouth Drive, in Jarrow, was convicted in August 2022 of harassment without violence against Jarrow MP Kate Osborne.
Today, at a sentencing hearing at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, she was given an 18-month community order, issued with a restraining order, and ordered to pay £80 in compensation.
She must attend 15 rehabilitation sessions as part of the sentence.
The court heard how she confronted the Jarrow MP in August 2021 and tweeted about her three times.
The presiding judge said: “These are serious offences. As a result of the defendants actions, the victim in this case felt threatened, suffered anxiety, felt she’d been ambushed at an event, and the comments on Twitter thereafter continued in that vein.”
Ms Osborne said homophobic abuse ‘had no place in the community’, adding she would donate money given in compensation to a charity helping LGBTQ+ people.
The MP said: “Last month, I attended South Tyneside Magistrates Court to give evidence as a victim of harassment from a local constituent and welcomed the findings of the court.
“The defendant was found guilty of harassment without violence, with the judge remarking on the homophobic content.
“This morning, the defendant was sentenced to 18 months Community Order, £80 compensation and an 18-month restraining order to not contact me and my office directly or indirectly as well as not refer to me either directly or indirectly on social media.
“I will be donating the compensation to a charity within the Jarrow constituency who, among other services, offer support to LGBTQ+ people in the community.
“Homophobic abuse has no place in our community or society as a whole. It is important that where we can, we stand up to this and report abuse and hate crimes to the relevant authorities.
“I will continue to use my platform as an MP to campaign for a better, more tolerant society, not just in the Jarrow constituency, but nationally too.
“I would like to thank again my family and my team for the support they have given me throughout this stressful time as well as the police and the CPS for their help in pursuing this case.”