Sutton man who made false claims of homophobia could be jailed
- Credit: Archant
A man from Sutton who claimed to be the victim of homophobic abuse could be jailed for making false reports to police.
Jamie Shand, 39, made a series of false allegations claiming he had been abused or threatened because of his sexuality or mental health issues.
Norwich Magistrates' Court heard the claims came after he had deliberately provoked arguments with people in the street or at shops in Diss.
Shand, who now lives in Sutton, near Ely, denied the charges but was found guilty of three counts of making false communications to police in August and October last year following a trial.
He was also found guilty of assaulting a postal worker who visited his then home at Nicholls Way in Roydon, near Diss, on January 8 this year.
Magistrates heard one of the false complaints had been against Jonathan Green, manager at the Poundstretcher store in Diss.
Shand contacted police and Mr Green's employers to claim he had called him a "poof" and a "paedo".
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Mr Green told the court he had been shocked by the allegations and feared he would lose his job.
He said: "It felt to me like he was trying to penalise me for being homophobic when I had made no remarks about his sexuality, nor did I have any knowledge of his sexuality."
Kyle Ash, who works at Roydon Service Station, was twice visited by police investigating allegations made by Shand that were later found to be false.
In a third incident, Daniel Lund, from Roydon, was falsely accused of threatening Shand during an altercation.
PC Andy Barkway, of Norfolk Police, told the court there was a "pattern", with the same complaint being lodged against numerous unconnected parties.
Shand, who represented himself in court, said he had moved to Diss from Cambridge two years ago looking to make a fresh start.
He said: "Since moving to the town I had been victimised because of my vulnerabilities. I'm not sure why, I think it is because of fear and lack of understanding. I felt that I needed police support."
Presiding magistrate Jane Bowles told Shand: "You intended to provoke a negative response from each individual. You manufactured and manipulated in each case a reaction from your victims. We believe you intended to cause your victims anxiety or distress, particularly with regard to their employment."
Sentencing was adjourned until July 12, with magistrates asking for an all-options report, including the possibility of a custodial sentence.
Shand had also been charged with stalking but the charge was dropped after he agreed to a restraining order, due to be imposed at his sentencing and which will then prevent him from contacting Myhills pet and garden shop in Diss.