Belfast Telegraph

BBC Radio DJ who said women should 'keep their knickers on' accuses campaigner of inciting rape against him

Nick Conrad is threatens legal action against Kirsty Strickland over petition calling for him to be sacked

By Kashmira Gander

A BBC radio presenter who was forced to apologise after he said women should “keep their knickers on” to avoid being raped, has sent messages threatening legal action to a woman accusing her of inciting rape and paedophila against the DJ and his family, The Independent has revealed.

Nick Conrad, 29, a talk show host on BBC Radio Norfolk, apologised last month after he made offensive comments about sexual violence during a live debate on convicted rapist and former Sheffield United striker Ched Evans.

The comments caused an immediate uproar.

As a result of his comments, Kirsty Strickland, from Glasgow, launched a petition calling on the BBC to fire him.

In the days after she launched the campaign, Mr Conrad found Ms Strickland on Facebook and sent her a private message.

In the messages Mr Conrad says that a woman "place[s] herself in a 'dangerous situation'" by "going to bed with someone [she doesn't] know" and declared himself to be a "proud feminist."

"I won't resign or be sacked. What I was trying to say was right - the way I said it was wrong. For that I apologise[...] My only motivation is to highlight the destruction of this crime and promote safe sex," he wrote.

A week later, the presenter messaged her again and threatened to contact the police. Mr Conrad accused her campaign of inciting violence against him and his family, “including rape and pedophilia [sic]”.

"We have reviewed your tweets and you're inciting violence against me and my family. Including rape and pedophilia," he wrote.

"Under Section 59 of the Serious Crime Act 2007 'incitement'. We will refer this matter on to Strathclyde Police - it is for them to investigate your activity further."

Ms Strickland has stressed that she remained professional throughout their exchanges, and has said nothing offensive about the presenter or his family either personally, or via the petition.

When she asked him for a link to any of the threats made by visitors to her petition site, he said there were ''too many to send”, Ms Strickland said. Both the businesswoman and The Independent said they had not yet found any offensive or violent public messages directed towards Mr Conrad or his family, neither on social media nor on the Change.org page.

Mr Conrad then warned Ms Strickland that he was meeting with the BBC on Tuesday to discuss further actions if she did not remove her petition, and advised her to seek independent legal advice.

He went on to claim that he and the BBC had been monitoring Strickland’s activities online.

Intimated by Mr Conrad’s messages, Ms Strickland contacted the BBC to seek help and to clarify the situation regarding the alleged threats received by Mr Conrad which she says made her feel pressurised to remove the petition and end her campaign, which has garnered more than 450 signatures.

Ms Strickland said she felt “let down” by the BBC’s response to the situation, and has not received an apology. After she contacted the broadcaster on Sunday morning, the BBC did not reassure her until Monday evening that Mr Conrad would not follow through his complaint to the police.

“Given the recent (and extensive) scandals involving the BBC I would have expected better from them in dealing with Nick Conrad and his abhorrent opinions. Although, judging by their treatment of me this weekend, maybe I had too high expectations of our national broadcaster.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “We've spoken to Nick about these messages and reminded him of his responsibilities as a presenter.”

The spokesperson could not clarify whether the broadcaster will take further action against Mr Conrad.

Mr Conrad and BBC Norfolk Radio have not yet responded to requests for comment.

The incident comes after Ofcom announced it would launch an investigation into comments made by Mr Conrad on air.

Source: Independent

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