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Pensioner racially abused security guards at Telford Shopping Centre

By Rob Smith | Telford | Crime | Published:

A 72-year-old man who racially abused security guards at Telford Shopping Centre after being told to stop taking photographs has been given a community order.

Ronald Pollard became abusive towards Inderpal Singh, Jonathan Simmons and Elvis Addo after being reported for taking photos of a bank, Shrewsbury Crown Court heard.

Yesterday, Pollard, of Tithe Croft, Wolverhampton, was found guilty in a one-day trial of causing racially-aggravated harassment, alarm or distress intentionally on December 8, 2017.

Prosecuting barrister John Oakes told the jury Mr Singh, who is of Asian heritage, and Mr Simmons, who is white, were called to reports of a man taking photos, apparently of a bank, at about 1.05pm on the day in question.

They investigated and found Pollard sitting on a bench with a camera. Mr Oakes said when they told him photography was against Telford Town Centre’s admissions policy there was some “argy-bargy” before he got up to leave.

Mr Singh, giving evidence, told the court Pollard used abusive language several times while they escorted him to the bus station, while Mr Simmons said he only heard the remark after they got close to the exit of the centre.

Police intervened when Pollard reached the bus station, but he was only interviewed on February 26, 2018, when he denied making the remarks.

Arguing

The jury saw CCTV footage from the shopping centre which showed a man sitting on a bench in discussion with Mr Singh and Mr Simmons.

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Defending barrister Simon Parry accepted from the outset that the man on the bench was Pollard.

In the footage he stands up and walks around the bench, still holding his camera and arguing, before eventually going to leave.

The journey to the train station was also captured on camera and shows several members of the public turning to look at or speaking to the group.

Mr Addo, who is black, joins the three close to the bus station, when Mr Simmons shows Pollard a physical copy of the photography policy.

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Footage from inside the bus station after the shopping centre security guards leave shows Pollard writing in a notepad.

In cross-examination, Mr Singh was asked by Mr Oakes how the abuse made him feel.

He said: "I wasn't happy with it. I'm British as well."

Mr Simmons said Mr Singh was a close friend as well as colleague, and that the abuse stuck in his mind.

After the jury found Pollard guilty, Judge Anthony Lowe gave him a 12-month community order and a two-month electronically-monitored curfew.

He also ordered him to pay a victim surcharge.

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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