A Suffolk pensioner is being accused of racism after a toy doll was placed in the window of her grandson’s bedroom. In an act of insanity, reminiscent of the craziness of Salem in the 17th century, the CPS believes the toy doll has caused alarm and distress.
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A grandmother charged with racially aggravated harassment has refuted a neighbour’s allegation that she made an offensive statement by displaying a golliwog doll in the window of her home.
Speaking through her solicitor for the first time since being charged over an incident in Worlingham, near Beccles, last month, 65-year-old Jena Mason said she was “devastated” by the allegation and intended to plead not guilty at Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court next Tuesday.
Police were called on the evening of Sunday, August 7 by a family with Jamaican links who claimed Mrs Mason had displayed a golliwog doll in the window of her home in College Lane following a neighbourhood dispute.
James Hartley, solicitor for Mrs Mason, said she intended to plead not guilty to the charge. “It is an innocent act which has been interpreted in a completely different way.
“She does not accept that she acted in a racial manner. It is a large house and she lives there with other members of her family and there is a grandson who is 16 months old. She was tidying up the toys. She is devastated by what is going on.”
Mr Hartley added that his client had declared a “history” of difficulties between the Mason family and their neighbours, the O’Donnells.
Mrs Mason is charged with racially or religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing.
Police said the charge related to the display of “writing, signs or other visible representations, which are threatening, abusive or insulting, within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress.”
The offence carries a maximum penalty of a £2,500 fine.