A man has been found guilty of a campaign of harassment against a transsexual woman.
The Gazette can now reveal abusive Douglas Edwards, 53, is a convicted rapist and child sex offender, with a string of violent offences on his record – details that could not be disclosed during his trial.
This was a form of hate crime which involved a number of incidents
Jurors took just half an hour to convict him of putting a person in fear of violence by harassment, following a trial at Preston Crown Court.
Edwards, of Dickson Road, Blackpool, threatened to kill his victim in a nightclub following months of other transphobic incidents.
On several occasions between March and September last year, the court hears the 53-year-old approached the transgender complainant, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
In one, Edwards is said to have sworn and used an offensive term as well as shouting: “You’re all men dressed as women.”
In another incident he allegedly made a “T” sign at her as she socialised with other transgender people.
Incidents took place at Peek A Booze, a cabaret bar on Dickson Road, Blackpool, and the Duke of York pub on Dickson Road. Edwards also jumped out of a takeaway and shouted abuse at her.
On another occasion, while dressed as her male identity, the complainant left work and saw Edwards sitting on a bike watching the premises.
But giving evidence for his defence, Edwards tried to claim that he was a victim of harassment by the complainant, arguing that she had shouted abuse at him and tried to take his photograph.
Earlier in the case, prosecutor Gemma Maxwell said his conduct was a ‘form of hate crime which involved a number of discreet incidents’.
It was also revealed that over the weekend Edwards was arrested on suspicion of stalking a woman in a separate incident, which delayed proceedings.
This also could not be disclosed to jurors until after their verdict.
Judge Ian Leeming QC remanded him in custody until his sentencing on August 29.