Pensioner hurled homophobic slurs at neighbours

Reporter:

Court Reporter

A 68-year-old woman drunkenly hurled homophobic slurs at her neighbour, a court heard.

But Mavis Calderbank, of Churchstoke, claimed she was not homophobic and had a gay son.

She appeared at Welshpool Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday to face two charges of using abusive words or behaviour to cause distress.

The court heard Calderbank and her husband were drinking in their garden on August 28 to celebrate the 26th anniversary of the day they met.

Prosecutor Helen Tench said the defendant became annoyed at her neighbour’s dog barking at around 6pm.

She began to hurl abuse at her neighbour, Rebecca Radford, and her friend, Karen Hawkins. She was swearing and used homophobic language.

In their statements, Ms Radford and Ms Hawkins said they were left shaken.

Paul Inns, defending, said the incident was out of character and Calderbank denied making some of the comments.

The court also heard Calderbank had no previous convictions and no longer lived near Ms Radford.

Julian Davies, from the probation service, said Calderbank and her husband had consumed three bottles of red wine between them before the incident.

“She said the mood was spoilt by next door’s dog barking,” said Mr Davies.

“She accepts what she said after that point was wholly inappropriate.

“She has a son who is gay and doesn’t hold homophobic views.

“She would not have reacted in the same way had she not consumed so much alcohol.”

Mr Davies added Calderbank was a retired care home supervisor and had several health problems.

She was given a six-month community order with 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days to address victim awareness and alcohol use. She must pay £85 costs and an £85 surcharge.

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