Donna Bowdler

Donna Bowdler
Photo: Liverpool Echo

Content note: This post refers to examples of racist hate speech posted by Bowdler

Donna Bowdler / Little Miss Peppermint , a male who identifies as a trans woman, has twice been convicted of publishing written material which is threatening/abusive/insulting with intent or likely to stir up racial and religious hatred.

The latest conviction was at Liverpool Crown Court in October 2017 and despite this being the third time Bowdler, 41, had posted extreme hate speech and threats targeting Muslims the defendant again avoided jail, and received a nine month sentence, suspended for two years, and a 20-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR).

Police discovered an arsenal of weapons at Bowdler’s home, including knives, machetes, axes, a baseball bat, bows and arrows, stun grenades and a throwing star. Bowdler was not charged on any weapons offences and they were destroyed.

Bowdler, a former soldier, had previously avoided prison in 2016 after reportedly posting hate speech on Facebook about ‘hanging Muslims and slaughtering refugees’. While on bail over those offences, dating from October to December 2015, Bowdler made yet more similar posts, between January and August 2016. 

When police first investigated Bowdler in 2015 after the commanding officer at an army barracks received a “concerning” letter signed by the defendant, Cheshire Police officers found a legally-owned air pistol and air rifle plus a pepper spray canister Bowdler had failed to mention, plus three bags of cannabis. Bowdler was sentenced at Halton Magistrates’ Court in September 2016 to 28 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, plus a 24-day rehabilitation programme in 2016.

The court heard Bowdler joined the army in 1995 and was discharged in 1997 and that the defendant’s service record held no mention of any tours of duty, despite Bowdler making assertions to have done so. Elsewhere Bowdler has detailed serving in the Parachute Regiment (which remains an all-male regiment, despite saying in 2014 that women recruits were welcome to apply) so we must assume the defendant is male, and subsequently identified as a transgender woman.

A post on the Cheshire & Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company website from 3 May 2017 cites an Ex-Forces Action Network (E-FAN) case study (archived here) repeating Bowdler’s assertions of having served in Northern Ireland and Bosnia as a member of the 141 Parachute Regiment; at the time of writing, no record of such a regiment could be located online. The post also downplays Bowdler’s conviction as being “fined £200 and received 24 RAR activity days for breaching free speech legislation” making no mention of the 28 week suspended prison sentence or the reality of Bowdler’s offending.

A Twitter account (archived here) in the name of donna [email protected] is still visible. It links to poetry Bowdler writes under the pen-name Little Miss Peppermint (also referenced in the case study detailed above) and contains multiple examples from 2015 and 2016 of extreme hate speech targeting the Muslim community. We have taken the decision not to post examples of tweets here.

See also Francesca CamiciaKatelyn Findlay, Penny Anderson, Joanne Spencer and Joanna White; males who identify as trans who have committed racially aggravated offences.

See also Joanne Morris, Lauren Jeska, Melissa Young, Jessica Winfield, Dawn Love, Susan Bond, Katrina Harte and Prisoner XT; males who identify as trans who have been convicted of possessing weapons/violent offences

Media reports

Liverpool Echo http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/former-soldier-posted-hate-speech-13786112 archive

Warrington Guardian http://www.warringtonguardian.co.uk/news/14767334.Woman_escapes_immediate_jail_term/ archive