Court bans criminal from harassing reporter

A BBC local radio journalist has obtained a permanent injunction against a convicted man who allegedly embarked on a campaign of harassment after he was featured in an investigative programme.

Tommy Keenan, who works under the name Stephen Rhodes as a presenter for BBC Three Counties Radio, filed an injunction against Potters Barbased locksmith Mark Makowski, banning him from travelling within 250m of Keenan’s home, the Three Counties Radio station in Luton and approaching the journalist or any members of his family.

Keenan also sought an injunction banning Makowski from disclosing his address or contact details and from inciting others to harass his family. He is also claiming damages.

According to a High Court writ issued by media lawyers Olswang on Keenan’s behalf, the presenter believed Makowski was responsible for a number of attacks on his home and car, which frightened Keenan’s wife and young children and forced them to turn to the High Court for protection.

Keenan investigated Makowski four years ago, after reports he had overcharged customers of his locksmith business, according to the writ.

Makowski also featured on the BBC One programme Rogue Traders in 2003, after which he was prosecuted by Hertfordshire County Council Trading Standards. On 5 September that year, he pleaded guilty to five offences and was fined £2,100 by Hertford Magistrates, with costs in excess of £3,700.

Keenan said he and his family had been victims of a campaign of harassment by Makowski since 2000, ranging from paint being thrown over their house in Dunstable to Keenan’s wife being threatened, with Makowski forcing his way into the Keenans’ home on one occasion, leaving only when she phoned the police.

Neither Keenan nor the BBC would discuss the case.

By Wale Azeez

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