‘You are rightly ashamed’ - Council officer left ‘stressed and anxious’ by abuse at traveller site, court hears

PUBLISHED: 16:01 17 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:02 17 June 2019

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd

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A South Norfolk council officer was left ‘stressed and anxious’ after he was subjected to a string of abuse at a traveller site, a court heard.

The housing standards officer was visiting Bawburgh transit site to make a regular check by the council in March, this year, when he was confronted by Gordon McPhee, 33, who was obviously unhappy to see the officer, Norwich Crown Court heard.

John Morgans, prosecuting, said that McPhee had become angry and was abusive to the officer calling him names and hurling a number of insults at him.

"He was not happy to see the officer on the site," Mr Morgans said.

"The officer decided it was best to leave."

Mr Morgans said that the council officer, who had been in his role for 17 years, said the confrontation had left him feeling stressed and anxious over what happened as he had just been trying to do his job.

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McPhee, who is now living in Grantham, admitted threatening behaviour on March 26, this year.

The court heard the offence put him in breach of a suspended sentence, which McPhee had almost served when he committed the offence.

Peter Hunter, for McPhee, said he wished to apologise for his behaviour on that occasion and said: "He said he had a bad day."

He said that McPhee was married with a young family and was the sole breadwinner.

Sentencing him, Judge Anthony Bate imposed fines of £500 and costs of £400 and told McPhee it was disappointing that he had breached his suspended sentence, after almost completing it and managing to stay out of trouble.

He told McPhee that the officer was just making sure everything on the site was in order and said: "He was a doing his public duty as a housing standards officer."

Judge Bate added: "Saying you were having a bad day was no excuse. You are rightly ashamed of that misconduct."

He said he hoped the apology offered by McPhee would be passed on to the housing officer concerned.

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