Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 15°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

Police have closed the road.

A woman cyclist is in a life-threatening condition in hospital following a collision with a van on the A133 at Weeley.

Knives handed in during an amnesty at Clacton Police Station

A survey by a weapons awareness charity has found one-quarter of youngsters in Clacton have been threatened with a knife.

The Energy from Waste Site in Great Blakenham.

Nearly a year after it first started to turn Suffolk’s waste into something useful – electricity – the Great Blakenham incinerator is helping to keep rubbish out of the county’s holes in the ground.

Ladbrokes

Two men stole hundreds of pounds during an armed robbery at a bookmakers in Felixstowe last night.

Maggie Scorer and Oscar in front of Brighton Pier

It has taken close to six months, covering a distance of almost 5,000 miles, but the home stretch is in sight for round-Britain cyclist Maggie Scorer and her travelling companion, Oscar.

Robert Morton

The new chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service, Robert Morton, has big plans for the future of the trust.

Colchester General Hospital

A new permanent chief executive has been appointed to lead the trust running Colchester’s hospitals.

The Red Arrows thrill the crowds at the Clacton Air Show.

A record 220,000 people attended the Clacton Airshow over the last two days – leaving organisers content that they had made the right decision to host the event so soon after recent tragic events.

One lane of the A12 has been closed because of a multi-vehicle collision.

Chelmsford Crown Court

A Lakenheath man convicted of sexual abuse of boys in Essex has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages