Two arrested over tweets about Le Vell trial
Police say same rules apply to social media as mainstream media about identification of sex abuse victims
‘Social media is a fantastic tool for self-expression and part of modern life, but users should ask themselves whether they would want their own child subject to a Twitter feed,’ superintendent Phil Davies said today. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
A man has been arrested and another questioned by police in the UK over tweets about the trial of Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell.
Greater Manchester Police said a 43-year-old from the Gloucester area was held on suspicion of breaching S(1) Sexual Offences Act 1992 in relation to the public identification of a victim of sex abuse, and was later released on bail.
The force said a second man, aged 28, was interviewed under caution over a separate tweet in relation to the trial.
Superintendent Phil Davies said: “Public identification of victims of sex abuse, in particular child victims engaged in court proceedings, can cause both immediate and long-term distress and harm, especially in cases as serious as this.
“The same principles apply to social media as they do to the mainstream media and we are investigating this matter robustly.
“Social media is a fantastic tool for self-expression and part of modern life, but users should ask themselves whether they would want their own child subject to a Twitter feed.
“People may not understand that when they use social media they are required by the law to keep victims anonymous in exactly the same way as people who work in mainstream media. The rule of law and consciousness of a sex abuse victim’s anonymity should be considered by all who follow these types of cases.”
Mr Le Vell, who plays car mechanic Kevin Webster in the ITV soap, is on trial at Manchester Crown Court over claims he committed a string of sexual offences against one alleged victim.
He denies the charges.