Fareham gran’s ‘poisonous campaign’ of hate
ASBO Margaret Walker
Grandmother Margaret Walker has been given an Asbo after sending hundreds of racist leaflets to people.
The 73-year-old, who is disabled and walks with a stick, sent the vile abuse anonymously to politicians across the country.
Other targets over the past five years included social services, pubs, a retirement company and Marks & Spencer in Commercial Road.
The pensioner admitted sending the racist letters when she appeared at Fareham Magistrates’ Court.
In one of Walker’s leaflets she raged against people of Jewish and Islamic faiths and praised the ‘brave dogged work’ of the leader of the far-right British National Party, Nick Griffin and his ‘wonderful dedicated team’.
She also hit out at the Prime Minister David Cameron, the media and the police. She was given a month-long interim Asbo and is due back in court next month when magistrates will consider making a full order, which would last for at least two years.
The case was adjourned to give Walker, of Walnut Drive, Fareham, time to seek legal advice.
The leader of Fareham Borough Council Cllr Sean Woodward said: ‘I’ve been on the receiving end of this as have many councillors I know.
‘As a politician you get hardened to some of the stuff you get sent but having been a councillor for 26 years that’s the worst I have seen.
‘It’s been a very poisonous campaign that the woman has been running for quite some time.’
The BNP is backing Walker and has criticised the case as a restriction of her freedom of speech.
But Portsmouth City Council leader Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: ‘Freedom of speech is very important but so is giving people respect and being truthful.’
Acting Fareham and Gosport District Chief Inspector Dave Ockelford explained: ‘This is in no way an attempt to stop Mrs Walker from expressing her views; this action is being taken to ensure that communication methods used by her are lawful and appropriate.
‘Despite a number of requests from police to stop sending the anonymous letters, Mrs Walker has continued. An anti-social behaviour order was applied for to protect the public from further upset.’
The Asbo bans her from posting or delivering anything that contains words or pictures that are foul and abusive or likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.
She is also banned from sending anything in the post unless her name, signature and return address are clearly marked.
BNP leader Mr Griffin said: ‘They’re bullying a disabled 73-year-old lady for writing a letter about something she feels strongly about.’