13 July 2009

Accrington BNP supporter spared jail after targeting Asian family

A man who made his Asian next door neighbours’ lives a misery with his anti-social and racist conduct was spared immediate jail.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Nigel Hesmondhalgh, 36, who had a British National Party sticker in the window of his Accrington home, was abusive and insulting to the couple, repeatedly picking on the wife. He piled dog dirt up in the alley outside their home and told them: “It’s a white country, not a Muslim state.”

Hesmondhalgh, said to be the carer for his brother, who has learning difficulties, told the husband of the couple he should be scared and shouted support for the BNP.

The couple had lived in their home for 14 years before he moved in. The defendant, who has since moved but wants to go back to the property on Higher Antley Street, had earlier admitted racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress.

Hesmondhalgh, who has almost 90 previous convictions and has been flouting the law since he was 11, had struck while on bail for similar allegations which were left to lie on the file. He kept his freedom but his hostile and anti-social conduct was slammed by a judge, who warned the courts would not tolerate it.

The defendant, of Stanley Street, Accrington, was given 36 weeks in custody, suspended for two years, with 18 months supervision and the Thinking Skills programme.

Martin Hackett, defending, said the offence was unpleasant. Hesmondhalgh had been very close to his mother who died last July and he may have been adjusting.

Lancashire Telegraph

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