News People Confused Brit caught in Abbott Twitter storm
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Confused Brit caught in Abbott Twitter storm

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Twitter user Freya Newman (@freyanewman) may share a name with the young university student who alerted media to Frances Abbott’s secret scholarship, but that’s where the similarities end.

The young woman, from Somerset, England, has been inundated with tweets and Facebook messages of support as her Australian counterpart appears in court for a sentencing hearing.

• Dear Frances Abbott

The Australian Freya Newman, a 21-year-old library assistant from Sydney, faces two years in jail after pleading guilty to leaking restricted data.

She was due to be sentenced today but her sentencing was adjourned until November 25 after submissions from the defence and prosecution.

Her case has outraged many Australians, who believe she should be celebrated as a whistleblower.

Unfortunately, their messages have been misdirected to the Britain-based Freya Newman, who is bemused and flattered by the outpouring of support.

“Such nice supportive messages from strangers on Facebook,” she wrote on her Twitter account.

Messages range from ones of solidarity – “hey dude, I heard about what happened, I hope everything is ok!” – to questions about trial details – “folk wanna know when ur (sic) court case is and if you want ppl to attend in solidarity.”

In reality, the English woman has no idea who Frances Abbott is.

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