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Six months for man who targeted deputy editor

A man who inundated the Bristol Evening Post with abusive and racist telephone calls has been sentenced to six months in prison.

Gordon Maddocks, (44), of Broom Hill, admitted racially aggravated harassment after leaving 28 messages for Post deputy editor Stan Szecowka between August 25 and September 11, 2001.

As well as the jail term Maddocks was ordered to have no contact, direct or indirectly, with the journalist and his family.

Bristol Crown Court heard how the deputy editor returned from leave to find 24 abusive and threatening voicemail messages from Maddocks.

Though Maddocks assumed he was of Yugoslavian origin Stan was, in fact, Polish.

Between September 7 and 10 he received a further four abusive calls.

The court heard that in one of them Maddocks said: “I hope something happens to you and your family.”

The prosecution described Stan as the “face of the newspaper” and said how he had been approached by Maddocks in 2001 and urged to expose police corruption following the execution of a firearms warrant in Barton Hill.

The matter was mentioned in the newspaper but there was no follow-up and regular complaints followed from Maddocks.

Police scrutiny of Maddocks’ telephone line found he made some 60 calls to the deputy editor, though only 28 were the subject of the charge.

Stephen Mooney, defending Maddocks, said comments made by his client were “foul, abusive and offensive”. He added that time spent in custody had given his client time to reflect on his actions and their consequences on his family as well as Mr Szecowka’s family.

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