Racist gran barred from sending offensive letters

Margaret Walker
Margaret Walker
Bob Higgins at an earlier court hearing  Picture Habibur Rahman/Solent News

Trial date for ex-Southampton football coach accused of abuse

0
Have your say

A RACIST grandmother who sent 500 vile letters in a one-woman hate campaign has been banned from sending offensive correspondence for life.

Margaret Walker, 73, has received an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (Asbo) after penning the abusive letters to innocent targets in a five-year period.

Walker admitted posting offensive correspondence anonymously to victims nationwide, attacking numerous ethnic groups with racist slurs between January 2007 and June 2012.

Victims included schools, GP surgeries, hospitals, mosques, universities, private addresses all over the country and even former prime minister Gordon Brown’s then constituency office in Fife.

Today Fareham magistrates imposed the Asbo on Walker, of Walnut Drive, Hill Head, indefinitely, following an application by Hampshire Constabulary Chief Constable Alex Marshall.

The order means Walker, who is a widow, must not send, post or deliver any form of correspondence to any person or postal address that contains any words, pictures, symbols or diagrams that are foul of abusive and are likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person in England and Wales.

She was ordered to pay £5,000 in costs.

She is also banned from sending any correspondence without her name, signature, and return address being clearly identifiable.

If Walker is caught flouting the order she faces arrest, a fine of up to £5,000 and five years in jail.

Chairman of the bench Gordon Burlinson imposing the order, said: ‘We find that this series of correspondence was planned, deliberate, some colour was used to enhance the letters for effect and conveyed, a range of offensive, distressing, racist and frightening language

‘We come to this conclusion on the basis of all the evidence we have heard and seen, and using our judgment.

‘Mrs Walker did cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household.

‘This is evidenced by the nature and extreme content of the letters and the recipients’ reactions.’

Walker started the letters in 2007, until 2009 when she was arrested after forensic tests as part of a police probe linked the letters to one person.

She was arrested following appeals in The News and on BBC’s Crimewatch. Police warned Walker that if she did not stop further action would be taken - but the vile campaign continued.

Among her targets in the first batch was St Mary’s Hospital in Milton, Portsmouth. The hospital received a letter filled with racist terms, calling on the hospital to get rid of dirty, untrustworthy’ foreign staff, to make it pure again’ for English people.

Marks and Spencer in Portsmouth also received a letter.

However, in 2010 she resumed sending letters, mostly relating to an unsolved murder of a teenager in Blackpool.

However, Walker repeatedly claimed the teenager was killed by Muslim paedophile murderers.

Walker can appeal the terms of her Asbo after two years.

Roger Trencher, solicitor for Hampshire Constabulary, said: ‘We are pleased with the outcome because we thought from the start that this was a situation that needed to be dealt with.

‘It was causing distress throughout the country and all the indications were that Walker was not prepared to stop.

‘Actually, it had taken quite a bit of police resources in even finding out it was her in the first place. We had to take action.’

Walker declined to comment.