Saturday, May 23, 2009
Labour Councillor - Violence
A FORMER Labour councillor is facing jail for assaulting a young woman traffic warden.
Noel O'Brien shoved Joanne Subocz and threw her hat on the road after she caught him parking illegally in Manchester city centre.
O'Brien, 58, shouted a torrent of racist abuse at Polish-born Miss Subocz , telling her 'go back to your own country, we don't want you here'.
Miss Subocz said the incident left her shocked and for weeks she was afraid to go back on the streets.
District judge Paul Richardson, sitting at Manchester magistrates' court, convicted O'Brien of racially aggravated assault and bailed him for reports.
He told O'Brien: "This was an unpleasant piece of behaviour on a woman from another country doing her public duty. She was assaulted and bullied in a nasty fashion.
"If I don't get a favourable report on you I will have no option but to impose a custodial sentence."
Quote - "It left me shaking, it was a horrible experience."
Miss Subocz said O'Brien, a former councillor in Haslingden, Rossendale, swore and pushed her after he parked on a suspended bay in St Mary's Parsonage last January.
She said: "It left me shaking, it was a horrible experience."
Four witnesses told how O'Brien rounded on the warden and screamed abuse. Jennifer Lynch said he was agitated and aggressive.
"He charged towards her like a bull," she said.
O'Brien, of Mercer Crescent, Haslingden, had denied the charge but didn't give evidence in his defence. He refused to recognise the court after the judge said he could not cross-examine civilian witnesses.
A previous bench appointed a lawyer on O'Brien's behalf to test the evidence, avoid unnecessary distress to witnesses and ensure the trial ran efficiently.
O'Brien accused the judge of denying him his civil right. He said: "I'm taking no further part in the proceedings. This is a joke - it's a pantomime."