A woman who posted videos of herself performing sex acts with a man in Liverpool city centre said she considered suicide in response to the backlash.
Kelly Cousins, 35, said she received threats and abusive comments after video of her August 1 encounter went viral on social media.
Cousins, formerly of Netherton, Merseyside, but now without a fixed address, shared some of the footage, which was captured by strangers, on her own social media pages, adding fuel to the fire.
She later stated that she believed that ‘lightening’ the incident would make the hate campaign ‘go away.’
However she was arrested and charged with outraging public decency, while the man accused of appearing in the video, 23-year-old Joe Firby, was also charged with the same offence.
However, Firby remains wanted after failing to attend court in September.
Cousins was handed a suspended prison sentence at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court yesterday after previously pleading guilty to the charge.
Her solicitor argued in court that much of the commentary around the case was driven by ‘misogyny’.
After the hearing, the mum-of-four, who has since left Liverpool, told the Liverpool ECHO newspaper about the incessant abuse she received.
She said: ‘I would get messages from people saying ‘have you killed yourself yet?’.
‘And let me tell you, I thought about it. I felt like it would go away if I wasn’t here any more.
‘I am still getting them today, just from total strangers. It made me feel like s***.’
Cousins said on one occasion she had ordered food from a popular fast-food chain when she suspected staff had interfered with her food, which was ‘covered in bits’.
In a statement shared after the hearing, she said: ‘We knew each other from the gym. We went on a date. Things got out of hand, this was never planned.
‘I deeply regret it. I have always taken responsibility for my actions and I now just want to make a new start and put this all behind me.’
During the hearing, Andrew Page, prosecuting, told the court: ‘The defendant was in Concert Square with a male whose identity has been established.
‘While in Concert Square she and the male became engaged in sexual activity in public view, much of which was filmed by the general public.’
Mr Page said Cousins herself posted the footage on her social media pages under the username Ruby Rose VIP. One post was captioned: ‘Where next, Crosby, Mathew Street, St John’s Gardens, the Docks?’.
Mr Page, on the other hand, claimed that no one in the city center at the time of the crimes filed a formal complaint with police.
Cousins, according to Mr Page, was reported when a social worker recognized her and reported her to the police. On August 4, she was arrested at her former home in Netherton.
However, her solicitor, Heather Toohey, told magistrates that much of the commentary surrounding the case was motivated by’misogyny.’
Miss Toohey said: ‘There were two people involved in this offence, but only she is here today.
‘On social media there was “hashtag Concert Square girl” and “hashtag Concert Square slut”, all in relation to her.
‘All of this bad press in relation to this, and I hate to say it, was driven by misogyny.’
Cousins was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to complete 40 hours of unpaid work.
She was also told to complete 25 Rehabilitation Activity Days with the Probation Service.
Mr Page said after the case, ‘The behavior that occurred in Concert Square that night was genuinely outrageous.’ Concert Square is a popular tourist destination, and the incident may have harmed the city’s reputation in the eyes of some.
‘Whatever Miss Cousins and the man involved were planning, it was not the place. The man involved in this incident was equally responsible and is being sought by authorities.’