Miranda Yardley relates the story of being prosecuted for alleged transphobia in what the judge called a ‘baseless, politically motivated’ trial.
On Friday 1 March, ten months of uncertainty and fear for my public reputation came to an end as a District Judge told a CPS prosecutor that the prosecution they were bringing against me for harassment under s2 of the Protection From Harassment Act 1997 was a baseless, politically motivated case and should never have come to court. I was awarded costs from the CPS, and this bizarre farce where a transsexual was being prosecuted for ‘transgender hate crime’ reached an abrupt end. After all this, there was no case to answer.
Having listened to two hours of evasive video evidence from a complainant who continually hid behind her claims to be protecting her ‘transgender son’, the judge had lost patience. Addressing the prosecutor he asked ‘where is the evidence?’, the prosecutor seemed almost embarrassed, admitting this was essentially a single tweet and the complainant’s rambing, incoherent testimony. The judge responded that the Crown had failed to establish a ‘course of conduct’ and that there ‘never was a case’. Game over.
This was a bizarre case where I, a transsexual who transitioned over a decade ago, was charged with a ‘transgender hate crime’ against someone who is not transgender. A spat on Twitter in February 2018 had led to a police complaint, in the April I was visited at my door by two police officers from my local force acting on behalf of West Yorkshire Police. The officers told me I was to attend the police station to be interviewed under caution for ‘hate crime’, harassment and malicious communications. I attended voluntarily, and after the reading of a prepared statement I responded ‘no comment’ to questions. Following this, I had biometric samples taken including fingerprinting.
Ironically, what this case has demonstrated is what we have seen as a ‘course of conduct’ from transgender activists and in particular from the transgender advocacy charity Mermaids: the complainant Helen Islan is a volunteer with this charity, providing marketing and social media services to the charity. Islan had accused me of ‘doxing’ her ‘transgender son’, on the basis of my having tweeted the first page of a Google search of her name. This contained a small image of her and her children from one of her own social media accounts.
The claim of ‘doxing’ was unsupported by evidence, initially denying she’d ever used her full name online, my defence produced screen captures from Twitter showing Helen Islan had tweeted under her own name until at least 2016. In particular, Islan regularly tweeted about her ‘transgender son’ including discussing her experiences at school and her use of puberty-delaying drugs. In spite of playing victim, defence evidence showed that Islan undertakes exactly the sort of behaviour for which she was trying to have me prosecuted.
Under her own Twitter account, Islan regularly instigates vicious personal attacks against people she disagrees with. In particular, Islan instigated Twitter pile-ons, posting vicious personal attacks on women like Stephanie Davies-Arai, Michele Moore and Heather Brunskell-Evans, women who like me do not believe that children can be born into the wrong body.
Although Islan tried throughout the hearing tried to distance herself from her involvement with Mermaids, it was transparent throughout her involvement with the charity went far deeper than she was prepared to admit. Her tactics and activity mirror those of the charity, and it became clear under cross examination that the actions and beliefs of her and the actions and beliefs of Mermaids are almost inseparable. Of course, this similarity extends to their attitudes to ideological disagreement, preferring to use the power of the police rather than engage in fact-based discussion or debate: West Yorkshire Police, who brought Islan’s complaint to my door, have also investigated and interviewed under caution Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull for tweets directed at Mermaids Chief Executive Officer Susie Green, a woman who for her son’s sixteenth birthday flew him to Thailand for gender reassignment surgery.
Mermaids, like Islan, take the view that the transition of young children should be affirmed without question. Both Mermaids and Islan actively advocate against what science tells us about what it is to be transgender, including the link between transgender and sexual orientation. Both dismiss that science tells us most children will, going through puberty, desist from their transgender behaviour.
Without offering any evidence to support their claim. both Islan and Mermaids reject cutting edge research on the emergence of a form of gender dysphoria (Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria) that has emerged recently and appears to affecting young girls, a type of behaviour that professionals believe explains why so many girls are now seeking medical intervention to become men. Under cross-examination, Islan begrudgingly appeared to admit to a belief that transgender identity is formative upon a brain/body mismatch.
Islan and Mermaids use bullying tactics to quash public discourse and debate. For a charity that is supposed to further children’s welfare, Mermaids are reluctant to acknowledge any diversity of opinion over what it means for children to be transgender. As a transsexual and activist who disagrees with transgender ideology, I was targeted for a legal gagging, in the week before I was charged I was served a letter from Mishcon de Reya threatening me with high court action (in response to my enquiry whether this may have been conducted pro-bono as part of the firm’s ‘Pink Law’ initiative, the firm responded Islan ‘instructed the firm in a personal capacity’.
The attempts to gag me extended even to the legal proceedings themselves, with the CPS applying for reporting restrictions at the request of the complainant. In the papers presented to the court to apply for these reporting restrictions to guarantee anonymity for Islan, the CPS stated this was ‘essentially a transgender hate crime’ which should ‘where at all possible be prosecuted’.
As if to reinforce this, Islan emailed the Court the day before the proceedings, demanding anonymity or she would refuse to testify. Gudrun Young, my defence barrister, brought to the judge’s attention that Islan was attempting to blackmail the court. The judge saw through this, refusing the application on the basis of free speech and that the case was of public interest.
On denial of the reporting restrictions application, Islan was first given ten minutes, then a second period of time, to decide whether she wished to continue the prosecution. This was in spite of her personally telling the court she would not give evidence if she was not given anonymity. After being given time to think then an extension to this time, Islan confirmed she was willing to give evidence against me and the case proceeded. In the aftermath when asked for a statement about the case, with staggering cant Islan responded by attempting to hide behind the CPS claiming “the decision to prosecute was made by the CPS, not me personally and I accept the verdict of the court”. Islan locked her Twitter account in response to the case being thrown out.
This was an ideological attack on all of us who are critical of the misogyny, homophobia and anti-science beliefs of transgender ideology. From the beginning right to until the end, this case was marked by the need for transgender activists to control public discourse and silence debate, rather than present a reasoned argument foundational upon facts. This political disagreement saw an abuse of our legal system, which was used to harass and threaten me over a ten month period, while Islan, like Mermaids, hid behind ‘transgender’ as a camouflage for their need to silence differing opinion. As I have said before, ‘Fuck. That. Shit.’
I’m Miranda Yardley.