Get involved: Send pictures, video, news and views - text NEWS SHOPPER to 80360 or email us
Blogger Olly Cromwell given restraining order for grossly offensive and menacing tweets
A BLOGGER has been given a restraining order over a pair of “grossly offensive and menacing” tweets.
Outspoken Bexley Council critic John Graham Kerlen, 37, who writes under the name Olly Cromwell and blogs at youve-been-cromwelled.org, was ordered to carry out 80 hours unpaid work within 12 months at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (May 9).
He was also ordered to pay £620 costs and made subject to a restraining order preventing him from referring directly or indirectly to his victim, their family or home.
Last month he was convicted of sending grossly offensive or menacing messages over a public communications network in relation to two tweets sent on October 1.
In the first tweet he posted a picture of Bexley councillor Melvin Seymour’s house in Crayford – which he was living opposite at the time – and wrote: “To start, which c*** lives in a house like this? Answers on a postcard to Bexley Council.”
He later added: “It is silly posting a picture of a councillor’s house on Twitter without his address. That will come later. Please feel free to post him actual s***.”
Kerlen, of Milwards in Harlow, Essex, never did reveal the address or the councillor’s identity and in December was cleared of a charge of harassment in relation to the same tweets.
Not being a Twitter user, the messages were brought to Cllr Seymour’s attention by a fellow councillor.
Rupert Hallowes, mitigating, described Kerlen’s actions as an “epic misjudgement”.
IT worker Kerlen told the police in an interview in October he had pushed the boundaries “a bit too far” and offered to apologise.
Mr Hallowes said: “Clearly he has been humbled by this error in judgement.”
He added: “This is a man who has been active in local politics, who takes an active interest in local politics, who considered himself a controversial commentator of local politics and is someone who wants to hold Bexley Council to account so that its transactions are carried out in a transparent way.”
Kerlen said he plans to appeal the conviction.