Linehan warned by police over 'transphobia' row

Father Ted co-creator Graham Linehan has been given a verbal harassment warning after a transgender activist claimed he “trolled” her.

Police asked the Irish comedy writer to cease all contact with Stephanie Hayden, who he became embroiled in a Twitter row with.

Ms Hayden reported Linehan for “transphobia” after he referred to her as “he” and for “deadnaming” her by calling her by her former names.

Linehan, who lives in Norwich, locked his Twitter account on Friday, citing “abuse and harassment”.

He also highlighted a petition he had signed that calls on LGBT charity Stonewall to acknowledge the conflict that exists between “transgenderism and sex-based women’s rights”.

On Saturday, he said: “The police asked me to stop contacting someone I had no intention of contacting.

“It was a bit like asking me to never contact Charlie Sheen.”

Ms Hayden, a 45-year-old from Leeds, is suing Linehan in the High Court.

The 50-year-old writer, also known for being behind Black Books, has tweeted calling her “Tony” and “Steven” in reference to her former names.

Linehan also wrote: “I don’t respect the pronouns of misogynists, stalkers or harassers, and Tony is all three.”

Refuting his claims, Ms Hayden said: “I don’t take kindly to a public figure tweeting about me referring to me as a man and putting my legal name in quotation marks to suggest it’s not valid.”

Police can issue harassment warnings to discourage individuals from further behaviour.

The warnings are not convictions or cautions, but do appear on enhanced criminal records checks.

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Linehan co-wrote Father Ted – which ran for three series on Channel 4 between April 1995 and May 1998 – with Arthur Mathews, whom he met while working at Hot Press magazine.

He has written for other shows, including Brass Eye, and wrote and directed the 2006 Channel 4 sitcom The IT Crowd.

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