Hate crime teacher speaks out
A TEACHER who was subjected to homophobic abuse has spoken of his relief after the perpetrator was convicted of harassment.
The man, who does not want to be named, said he was subjected to months of abuse after moving into a flat in Chelmsford.
He moved into the property last year and about a month later the trouble started as 38-year-old Jason Kingsnorth started making homophobic comments, including shouting insults from his window.
Kingsnorth, of Falmouth Road, Chelmsford, was given a police caution in January this year after a complaint was made and for a few weeks the problem subsided.
But between January and May of this year Kingsnorth’s harassment continued.
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The teacher and his partner were approached when they were alone and said they were left in fear that violence may be used.
However, Kingsnorth was arrested and has now been convicted of harassment and handed a 16-week suspended sentence at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court.
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Speaking to the EADT, the teacher said he hoped more people suffering from hate crimes would come forward.
He said: “After the caution what happened, I would say, was more traumatic. It was all the time – little comments, nothing specific, muttering under his breath or he would repeatedly slam the door.
“There was an incident when I came home one evening and he was ranting and raving so I just walked past him.
“I felt it was definite intimidation and I did not know what he was capable of, but in some ways it would have been easier if it had been a physical thing as I was left constantly worried.
“I think he was a bully, picking on what he thought was a weakness and thought he could get away with it. It is the sort of thing I see in the playground and it is not nice in the playground and against adults it is just as bad.”
The victim started to compile a diary of the harassment which proved invaluable to police and Essex Crown Prosecution Service in securing the conviction.
Kingsnorth was arrested and a restraining order was put in place and he has since moved away from the flats.
The teacher added that the support he got from the witness care unit at the court which made a big difference to the daunting experience of giving evidence against Kingsnorth.
“If people do not go to the police, they won’t know what could be done for them. I would advise anyone having similar problems to keep a diary of it.
“What happened made me quite nervous in my own home to be honest so there was a real relief when he was gone. We were suffering from the October to April but there are people out there who it has been happening to for longer and they may just be putting up with it.
Prosecutor Joseph Stickings said: “The victims suffered at the hands of this man over a prolonged period of time purely because of their sexual orientation.
“His campaign of harassment against these two gentlemen caused them great unnecessary emotional suffering and they were unable to relax in their own home.
“We are grateful to the victims for coming forward and pleased this case has reached a successful conclusion. The CPS will continue to take offences of this nature very seriously and remain committed to prosecuting them through the court system.”