Hate crime accused: '˜I am no homophobe'

A man accused of a hate fuelled campaign of harassment against a transexual woman has told jurors: 'I'm the least homophobic person you'll ever meet.'

Friday, 14th July 2017, 5:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:28 am
Preston Crown Court

Douglas Edwards, 53, appeared at Preston Crown Court, accused of threatened to kill the woman in a nightclub, following months of other transphobic incidents towards her.

Edwards, of Dickson Road, Blackpool, denies a charge of putting a person in fear of violence by harassment.

He is accused of approaching the alleged victim several times between March and September last year.

On one occasion he reoprtedly said: “You’re all men dressed as women” and swore.

He told the court: “I’ve made a politically incorrect statement about a man being dressed as a woman.

“Someone has taken offence to it and told the management that I was being abusive and nasty - but I wasn’t.

“She was offended by it and I dismissed it. I said: “It’s nothing to do with you, please keep out of my way.”

“That got her more upset.

The court heard the woman took offence at his comments and he alleged that on another occasion she called him a ‘homophobe’ and began taking photos of him.

CCTV footage was shown in court from outside Peek A Booze club, on Dickson Road, showing him throwing an object at the woman.

He told jurors it was a penny change from a £1 loaf he had bought and added: “It meant ‘penny for your thoughts.’ It’s an old expression.”