A man who inundated the Bristol Evening Post with a torrent of abusive, threatening and racist telephone calls has pleaded guilty to charges of racially aggravated harassment.
Gordon Maddocks, of Broom Hill, Bristol, admitted leaving abusive and threatening messages for Post deputy editor Stan Szecowka between 25 August and 11 September, 2001.
Bristol Crown Court heard some of the messages were abusive to the Yugoslavian race – after Maddocks mistakenly thought that Szecowka originated from there.
Judge John Foley, who has adjourned the case until 1 September for a pre-sentence report to be prepared, has remanded Maddocks in custody.
Fergus Currie, prosecuting, told the court Szecowka returned from leave to ?nd 24 abusive and threatening voicemail messages from Maddocks.
Currie said: “Three mentioned Mr Szecowka’s racial origin. Mr Maddocks assumed Mr Szecowka comes from Yugoslavia when, in fact, he is Polish.” Currie told the court that between 7 and 10 September the deputy editor received a further four abusive calls.
He said: “In one of the messages Maddocks said, ‘I’ve followed you home and I’ll smash all your windows’, and another one said, ‘I hope something happens to you and your family’.”
Currie said Szecowka had been approached by Maddocks in 2001 and urged to expose alleged police corruption.
Police scrutiny of Maddocks’ phoneline found he made some 60 calls to Szecowka, though only 28 were the subject of the charge.
Initially, Maddocks told police he hadn’t made the calls. Stephen Mooney, defending Maddocks, admitted comments made by his client were “foul, abusive and offensive”. But he told the court though there were 28 calls, only three could be considered as being of a racially aggravated nature.
He said: “Though the offences are very upsetting indeed, Mr Maddocks wanted to express his anger and frustration.
He felt he had a genuine complaint against the police.”
Speaking after the case, Szecowka told Press GazetteMaddox ?rst came to his attention more than two years ago when he started abusing Evening Post reporters and he decided he would handle all future calls. He said: “The ?rst conversation I had with him was quite amicable but then he started to take out all his frustrations on me.
“Some of the calls were really sick and evil. He threatened to glass my 17-year-old daughter and when he said he was going to lob a brick through my window I had to move my 11-yearold son to a room at the back of the house.”
The racial abuse was the key to Maddocks being prosecuted, according to Szecowka. “The police told me they investigate all racists complaints.
He mistakenly thought I was from Yugoslavia, but then most racists are thick.”
The case has been protracted, leading to Szecowka spending ?ve days in court, but he said: “You have to be persistent if you want to tackle this kind of menace.”
By Jon Slattery