John Graham Kerlen, who writes under the name of Olly Cromwell, has today been sentenced to 12 months of community service and has had a 5 year restraining order placed on him as a result of comments he made online.
Today's sentencing at Bromley Magistrates Court follows a trial in April where the blogger was found guilty, under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003, of making a grossly offensive and menacing comment towards a Bexleyheath councillor; Cromwell was also ordered to pay £600+ in costs.
Cromwell was found guilty of calling the councillor the 'c-word' and inviting people to put excrement through his letter box , which according to today's sentencing is a punishable crime.
Last October, Kerlen, 37, tweeted "Which c*** lives in a house like this? Answers on a postcard to @bexleycouncil", as well as a picture of councillor Melvin Seymour's house.
Outrage has been expressed on Twitter with many users believing the sentencing to go against the basic right of freedom of speech, and questioning the UK judicial system.
It has even been suggested that the restraining order is tantamount to a gagging order. Cromwell is prohibited from any contact with any Bexleyheath councillor, physically or online. And, presumably, he’s not allowed to attend any public Bexley Council meetings either.