A trainee accountant who has achieved nationwide noteriety after allegedly hitting then tweeting about “#bloodycyclists” is reported to have been suspended from her job.
Emma Way tweeted that she had ‘definitely knocked a cyclist off his biker earlier – I have right of way he doesn’t even pay road tax #bloodycyclists’. As a result of her tweet, the Norfolk Police took up an investigation and the victim of the accident who has described himself as ‘lucky to be alive’ has been found. Ms Way’s driving was allegedly the cause for Toby Hockley ending up in a hedge after his handlebars were hit during a road race in Norfolk as Ms Way sped past.
Confessing to sending the message, Ms Way said, ‘It was spur of the moment stupid Tweet – there are so many of them flying around. But I never realised it would escalate like this – it is now national and the social networks have blown it up out of all proportion.’
Ms Way’s employers, Norwich accountants Larking Goiwen, now appear to be caught in the middle of the news story. Ms Way has confirmed that she has now been suspended and fears her career ‘may be over’.
A Larking Goiwen spokesperson has said, ‘We are aware one of our employees posted some tweets relating to an incident on their personal twitter account. Please be assured this is not a view shared by us and we certainly don’t condone that sort of behaviour. We are treating the incident very seriously and a full and detailed investigation will be carried out and appropriate action taken.’
Larking Goiwen are well advised to follow a sensible procedure and properly investigate any misconduct which it may find has taken place. With the media frenzy surrounding Ms Way at the moment, a suspension from her duties may take some attention away from her employers in the short term, but there is the risk that any media witch hunt
may put pressure on them to make decisions against their own will.
Ms Way’s story bears some resemblance to that of Paris Brown
, the 17 year old ‘Youth’ Police Commissioner who resigned from her position after only a few days following a front page story in the Mail on Sunday. Ms Brown was found to have posted tweets some years earlier which were not considered appropriate for or consistent with her new role. Until her resignation, the Kent Police Commissioner stood behind Ms Brown and supported her recruitment, but once again, we are seeing how an instant message sent without thought or consideration can cause lasting damage.