A man who took offense at being kicked out of a pool club ended up subjecting his owner to a campaign of harassment.
John Slocombe handed out homemade leaflets with derogatory comments and photos of the victim at a Co-op store before shouting abuse and recording him on the street.
The 48-year-old also tweeted offensive comments about the man at the North East Snooker Centre, which he owned, a court heard.
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Slocombe, of Sand Piper Court, Tynemouth, claimed the victim was a ‘Covid-19 denier and conspiracy theorist’ and repeatedly called him a ‘horrible w****r’ and a “c**t”.
But his behavior has now hit him in the pocket after he was found guilty after a trial of one count of harassment.
Fining him £300, District Judge Zoe Passfield said: “It was ridiculous behaviour.
“Bickering on social media is what you’d expect from teenagers, not a grown man. If your behavior is repeated, you’ll be back in court and you’ll find yourself to consider going to jail.”
North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard it was just over two years ago, when the victim was running Whitley Bay Snooker Hall, that it banned Slocombe from the premises.
He then closed this room and created the North East Snooker Center in North Shields.
Leanne Duffy, prosecuting, said there was a history of animosity between the pair until Slocombe’s behavior escalated in June last year.
“On June 19, staff at a Co-op store informed the victim that a number of flyers had been posted on the shelves of the store which contained a picture of him and derogatory comments,” added Miss Duffy.
“They said he was a Covid-19 denier and a conspiracy theorist. At 10:30 p.m. the same day, the victim saw the defendant outside his club recording him on his phone.”
The court heard the victim began recording Slocombe, who was shouting swear words.
Miss Duffy said that days earlier Slocombe had also sent derogatory tweets to the North East Snooker Centre.
In a statement, the victim said: “John Slocombe has committed a course of action to myself, my family and my business because I have kicked him out of the club because of his behaviour.
“It had an effect on me and I just want it to stop.”
The court was told Slocombe had become convinced the victim was breaking Covid regulations last year and had taken it upon himself to try to obtain evidence for his claims, which police said were unproven .
However, his lawyer, Ruth Foster, admitted that his behavior had gone too far.
She added: “There is a history between the two men, including [the victim] make false allegations about Mr. Slocombe on Facebook.
“Regarding the tweets, at trial the victim said he had never seen them, so Mr Slocombe was convicted based on the leafleting and the incident that happened. in the street.”
In addition to the fine, Slocombe was placed under a restraining order, which prohibited him from contacting the victim, and was ordered to pay £620 in costs and a victim fine surcharge of £128.
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