Jacqueline Woodhouse is, at least when drunk, a very unpleasant woman. It is entirely possible that she isn’t nice company when she is sober either.
Why do I say this? Because on the evening of January 23rd this year she launched into a foul mouthed and racist rant at her fellow passengers whilst on the tube home. This diatribe was filmed and posted on to YouTube by Galbant Juttla – one of those fellow passengers.
As a result of this she was turned herself into the police and was charged with one count causing racially aggravated “harassment, alarm or distress” by using “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour”. Today, having pled guilty to the charge, she was sentenced to 21 weeks in gaol as well as being banned for a five year period from – whilst drunk – tube or DLR stations, or from using the tube or DLR.
She has also lost her job and is, I would hazard, destined to spend the rest of her ‘working’ years unemployed.
What she said was abhorrent but prosecuting people for using words that are displeasing to others is to constrain their freedom of speech – a ‘thought crime’ if you will. That such backward views should be challenged when encountered is to to be encouraged but it should be for each individual to do so without feeling the need to resort to using the power of the State to squash an insignificant gnat.
Our forefathers fought against tyranny – let us not undo their hard work by introducing our own.