Wolverhampton anti-child abuse campaigner guilty of cyber-stalking
An anti-child abuse campaigner has been convicted of waging a cyber-stalking crusade against attack victim Shy Keenan.
Mother-of-eight Penny Mellor, aged 53, of Coven Mill Close, Wolverhampton, had denied stalking the anti-paedophile campaigner but was convicted at the end of an eight-day trial.
Now she must wait to hear her fate. Sentencing has been adjourned at Chelmsford Crown Court for reports until 16 April. In the mean time, Judge David Turner QC imposed an interim restraining order on Mellor banning her from contacting Ms Keenan or her family.
She was also banned from posting or documenting any personal information on the internet or other media outlets, from commenting about Ms Keenan's autobiography Broken or any other article she publishes and from sending any correspondence about Ms Keenan, her book or any article.
The judge agreed that Mellor could report any crime in good faith, to respond to inquiries of her by the authorities and to seek her own legal advice about Ms Keenan's autobiography, Broken, or any Ms Keenan article.
Mellor told the judge she was in contact with her MPs about books which contain graphic descriptions of child pornography without any censorship or warnings and which were available to children. She had also lodged a complaint about how Essex Police had handled her complaints.
Mellor's campaign work has included supporting Sally and Steve Clark and Angela Canning in the late 1990s/early 2000s. The two mothers were jailed for the murders of their cot death babies and later released on appeal after question marks over the expert's evidence.
Mellor's trial has cost over £16,800 and the judge said she must give details of her financial affairs. He commented: "You have put the public to some serious expense all of which was, frankly, avoidable. These things have consequences."
After the verdict, Mellor told the judge she wanted to appeal her conviction. He said she would have to prepare her case and ask permission from the Court of Appeal. "I will do that," she replied.
During the trial high-profile child rights campaigner, Esther Rantzen gave evidence on behalf of Mellor.
Jurors heard how the abuse took place between January 1 and March 16, 2013.
Mellor sent Ms Keenan distressing tweets and published statements about her in emails sent to work associates.
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