Gender-critical Catholic journalist arrested over alleged 'malicious' online posts

Caroline Farrow was arrested at her Guildford home on suspicion of harassment and malicious posts.(Photo: Twitter/Caroline Farrow)

A Catholic journalist and outspoken critic of transgender ideology was arrested on Monday for allegedly posting "malicious" material online.

Caroline Farrow, a mother-of-five who is married to a Catholic priest, has been accused of harassment and malicious communications.

She said in a lengthy Twitter thread that two officers turned up at her Guildford home while she was preparing dinner for her family, searched her and took her away for questioning.

Photos posted by Mrs Farrow in the thread appear to show a police officer with his hand on her front door and another conducting a body search.

Mrs Farrow said that officers seized her electronic devices and that when she asked whether they had a warrant, was told that they did not need one.

"I asked to see evidence of lots of allegations. The police said 'we don't have any yet, that's why we are talking to you, to get your side,'" she wrote, adding, "It's really worrying they can do this."

She said she was not responsible for the online content shown to her by Surrey Police and that she was playing the organ at Mass at the time they were posted.

She was released under investigation after several hours.

In another Twitter post, she said, "Posts were printed from [online forum] KiwiFarms and given to the police as evidence and the police have taken the complainants' word for it in the utter absence of evidence. It's unreal."

In a statement, Surrey Police confirmed that officers had attended an address in the Guildford area "as part of an investigation into allegations of malicious communications (sending of indecent, grossly offensive messages, threats, or information) and harassment".

"A 48-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of both offences," the statement said.

"A number of electronic devices were seized as potential evidence from this address under section 19 of PACE (the Police and Criminal Evidence Act). Where an offence is alleged to have been committed on an electronic device, for example, it may hold a key piece of evidence and may routinely be seized during an investigation.

"The woman was taken to Guildford Police Station where she was interviewed. She has now been released under investigation and inquiries remain ongoing."

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector David Bentley said: "There is significant commentary on social media around the perceived circumstances behind this investigation.

"We do not have the freedom of detailing every stage of our inquiries or the specifics of an allegation on social media as it is critical we do not pre-empt or prejudice any future proceedings at any stage.

"When we receive an allegation of a crime, in this instance one where a grossly offensive message is said to have been communicated, it is our job to assess it alongside any available evidence to identify if an offence has been committed. If it has, we gather further evidence and carry out an investigation to prove or disprove the allegation. That is exactly the process that is being followed in this case.

"The investigation into these allegations is very much ongoing and the relevant inquiries are being carried out. We have a duty to protect the integrity of an investigation, so we will not be providing a running commentary on this case."