Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 2°C

min temp: 2°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Ipswich: Building worker convicted of threatening behaviour towards transsexual

10:11 02 July 2012

Ipswich Magistrates

Ipswich Magistrates' Court

Archant

A BUILDING worker has been convicted of threatening behaviour towards a transsexual in Suffolk’s first successful transphobic hate crime prosecution.

shares

Today, Thomas Sawyer’s defiant victim Julia Ford told how the abuse she suffered from others as a result of police getting involved in the case drove her to the brink of despair.

Sawyer, of Wellington Street, Ipswich, pleaded guilty before the town’s magistrates to two charges of threatening behaviour towards Miss Ford. However, there was no suggestion Sawyer was involved in the other matters alleged by Miss Ford, who lived in the same block of flats.

The 54-year-old said people would shout abuse and physically block her, leaving her fearing for her safety.

As a result Miss Ford suffered drastic weight loss and police felt compelled to move her from her home.

She said: “I felt it was destroying my soul. I turned from the happy, bubbly person I was to this gibbering wreck when police came and rescued me from my flat.

“I was just completely drained and exhausted. I lost a stone in weight. I was sleeping with the light on. I barricaded my door at night. I felt I couldn’t get out.

“I was trapped.”

During Sawyer’s case, prosecutor Lucy Miller said Miss Ford was disturbed by noise from the flats above hers at around 4am on February 16. Around 9.20am she went into the hallway with a camera to record the noise as she was going to make a complaint to environmental health officers.

Miss Ford walked up the stairs and saw Sawyer apparently breaking wood with a hammer.

He became annoyed and started threatening her, calling her a ‘tranny’ and swearing.

Sawyer then shouted obscenities through her door.

The court heard that after being arrested he referred to Miss Ford as ‘it’ and a ‘faggot’.”

On February 24, at around 7.30pm, Miss Ford heard banging again, followed by loud footsteps and a hooting noise.

When she peered through the peephole she saw a dark figure telling her she was going to die and hurling more abuse. As a result Sawyer was arrested again.

John Hughes, mitigating, said Sawyer now realised he was in the wrong, but had originally become annoyed as he thought Miss Ford was filming him.

Magistrates ordered Sawyer to pay a total of £800 in fines and costs. He was also given a 12-month restraining order preventing him from contacting Miss Ford.

shares

0 comments

Man admits sexual assault

Police have expressed their relief that a woman who was sexually assaulted in her own home will not need to re-live her experiences during a trial, as her attacker admitted to the crime.

Police road closure.

A van driver has been rushed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in a life-threatening condition after a crash near Higham.

Traffic. Library image.

The A12 northbound has reopened at Witham after a six vehicle crash.

Colchester United v Notts County FC.
Sky Bet League One.
Kayleigh Osborne in action for Col U.

Colchester United 0 Notts County 1

Halstead sign

A man suffered a serious injury to his groin after being held in a headlock by one man and kicked up to 20 times by his companion, it has been alleged.

Suffolk’s Year of Cycling launch event at the Apex, Bury St Edmunds. No names.

‘Get on your bike and get riding’ was the message sent out to the people of Suffolk at today’s launch of the county’s Year of Cycling.

Cigarette ends

A Mount Bures man has been ordered to pay almost £1,000 for dropping a cigarette butt.

Assistant chief constable David Skevington, police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore, Dr Emma Bond, and councllor Colin Spence with the report on Understanding Domestic Abuse in Suffolk.

A report highlighting the graphic experiences of domestic abuse survivors will lead to an enquiry looking at how services supporting victims can be improved.

The incident happened on the A14

Police are investigating after goods valued around £15,000 were stolen from a lorry parked beside the A14.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train.

Some rail services between Ipswich and Norwich are being replaced by a bus this evening due to emergency engineering works.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages