UK: Traveller fined for calling police officer ‘a gay boy’

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A traveller who unleashed a torrent of homophobic abuse at a police officer has pleaded guilty in Kent.

Shane Lee, 39, told PC Richard Callaghan he was “a gay boy”, after Lee, who is unemployed, lost his temper over the number of times the police officer had called at his caravan site.

Canterbury Times reports Lee, of Snowdown Caravan Park, admitted causing harassment, alarm or distress to the officer when he appeared before Canterbury magistrates on Friday.

Debbie Pizzey, defending, said Lee was angry that the officer had visited again.

She said: “I understand from Mr Lee that he has made a complaint to the council in relation to the number of times that this particular officer has been to their property with unconnected matters and nothing came of them.

“Nothing came of this one. There was no further action. What Mr Lee tells me is, rightly or wrongly, he had become angry and simply lost his temper and became verbally abusive, which is something now he very much regrets.”

She said the struggling referred to by PC Callaghan was in fact Lee continuing to wave his arms while the officer was holding his wrist.

Magistrates said they would normally consider a fine for the offence, but because of the homophobic nature of the comments they handed him a community order.

Lee must complete 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £50 compensation to PC Callaghan, as well as a £60 victim surcharge and £250 costs. It will be added to his existing fines, but he was warned to clear his arrears of £87 within a week before continuing to pay £10 a fortnight.