A British motorist convicted of driving offences after tweeting about a collision with a cyclist has said she was the victim of cyber-bullying because of the post.
Emma Way, 22, from Watton, Norfolk, was found guilty at Norwich Magistrates’ Court of failing to stop after a collision and failing to report an accident.
She was cleared of driving without due care and attention.
Magistrates heard that police only became aware of the collision on May 19 because Miss Way tweeted “definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier. I have right of way – he doesn’t even pay road tax!” using the hashtag "#bloodycyclists" afterwards.
Cyclist Toby Hockley suffered bruising and minor damage to his bike in the incident near the village of Rockland All Saints, Norfolk.
Appearing on ITV’s 'Daybreak' programme this morning, Way said that she regretted the Twitter post but did not believe the collision was her fault.
She added: “I am only 22 and, not generalising about 22-years-olds or anything, but you sometimes just tweet things you don’t actually mean.
“I was quite angry about his mannerism and... that he was on my side of the road and it seemed somehow disrespectful.”
Way, who stressed she did not receive a fee for the appearance, was sacked from her job as a trainee accountant with Norwich-based Larking Gowen after the tweet came to light. The court heard she has now got a new job.
She had previously described her tweet as her “biggest regret” and rated it “11 out of 10” on the stupidity scale.
She told the programme: “I lost my job because of it.
“There were lots of retweets, malicious messages and cyber-bulling so it’s been quite bad.”
Her solicitor, Simon Nicholls, added that it had been a difficult case to defend.
“It can be hard enough at the best of times but when there’s an apparent admission on the internet, you have to explain that,” he added.
Mr Hockley said he felt the tweet was “stupid”.
He added: “It doesn’t do much for the mutual respect we should all have for each other on the road.”
Magistrate Martin Cliffe fined Way £337 and ordered her to pay £300 in costs. He also ordered that seven penalty points be added to her licence.
Way had about 200 Twitter followers when she sent the message and used to tweet daily.
She has since quit the social networking site.