Britain’s first transgender hate crime trial has been halted after one day, as the judge says ‘there is no case and never was a case’.
Miranda Yardley, 51, was accused of harassing transgender activist Helen Islan on social media.
But District Judge John Woollard dismissed the case after a one-day hearing, saying there was simply no evidence.
Campaigners called the decision a victory for free speech, while the accused claimed police were being used to ‘enforce a political ideology’.
Yardley and Islan exchanged strong opinions on whether a person can change their gender.
Islan said she felt ‘stressed and sick’ by Yardley’s Twitter posts, and the police were contacted.
Islan’s complaint was dealt with by West Yorkshire Police before being passed to colleagues in Essex, who decided it was a hate crime.
But when the case came to court the judge threw it out, saying there was no evidence of any harassment. Costs were awarded to the defendant.
Yardley told The Mail on Sunday afterwards that he was ‘horrified’ by the decision to charge him.