A PENSIONER is facing a lifetime ban from writing any more hate-fuelled letters after admitting sending 500 around the country.
But Margaret Walker’s defence team say that although she may be racist, her right to say those things is protected by freedom of speech.
The 73-year-old has admitted sending the anonymous letters to workplaces and local politicians around the country over the past five years, attacking numerous ethnic groups with vile racist slurs.
Hampshire’s chief constable has brought the case to get Walker, of Walnut Drive in Hill Head, an anti-social behaviour order which would stop her from sending letters that could cause offence, or from sending any letters anonymously.
Julian Knowles QC, prosecuting the trial at Fareham Magistrates Court, said: ‘We are seeking an indefinite order.
‘I make no bones about it that she is a racist, and she has written about a whole range of groups in very racist terms – Jews, black people, Chinese, Pakistanis and Muslims.
‘Her letters are hate speech, she speaks about Muslims alongside murder, paedophilia and rape as if those terms are synonymous
‘They are about as racially offensive and defamatory as it is possible to be.’
Walker started the letters in 2007, until she was arrested in 2009. She was not prosecuted but police warned her if she did not stop further action would be taken.
Amongst her targets in this 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.’
Tim Concannon, defending, said she should be allowed freedom of speech in ‘a mature democracy.’ He said: ‘Whilst there may be evil in the world, the way to combat it isn’t to prevent discussion or stimulation, but to have that conversation.
‘My friend says Mrs Walker is a racist, maybe she is, but it’s not a crime to be racist and if we go down that road it leads to the thought police.
‘It is illegal to incite racist behaviour, but she hasn’t been prosecuted for that.’