Mr Kerlen was arrested after a complaint from the councillor in question, and was charged with an offence under Section 127 of the Telecommunications Act 2003.

And in a case which could have huge legal repercussions for Twitter and its millions of users, Kerlen was convicted of the offence by Greenwich magistrates and now faces a possible jail term.

His legal battle has since been supported in large numbers on Twitter, where the hashtag #freethebexleyone became a trending topic.

Political campaigner and blogger Mark Wallace wrote: ‘Shockingly, a man has been convicted for swearing on twitter.’