Your location is set to Dartford
Published: 00:01, 06 December 2012 |
Updated: 09:43, 10 January 2014
by Alan Watkins
A council housing boss has been made the subject of a court order not to bully another housing officer.
Steven Richardson, of Turner Court, Dartford, was to stand trial last week charged with harassing Graham Fearon by leafleting his neighbours and emailing him.
But on his eighth appearance in court this year, Dartford magistrates were told the prosecution was dropping the charge.
It followed agreement a restraining order would satisfy everyone including Mr Fearon.
Stella Williams, prosecuting, said the Crown Prosecution Service had concluded the best way to deal with the case was to offer no evidence against Richardson on condition that he accepted the court order - known as a non-conviction restraining order.
"the order still allows the two men to communicate with each other at work, but their emails and letters would be monitored...” – michelle pibworth, defending
Richardson appeared in court wearing a dark blue two-piece suit and carrying a briefcase.
He is employed by Sevenoaks council as team leader in its private sector lettings section.
Ms Williams, a Crown prosecutor, told the court the charge had related to incidents between March and September last year.
"The victim, Mr Fearon, was in the 1980s convicted of a number of offences including robbery, burglary, and sexual assault. He served a period of imprisonment of two years.
"Since then he has gone to college, obtained qualifications and work as a volunteer.
"He became employed with Sevenoaks District Council in 2005 as a housing officer."
The court was told he hit the headlines as "the Pervert PC" over his conviction quarter of a century ago.
Ms Williams said his employers were aware of his history and took him off certain duties.
Last year, Richardson was promoted to team leader and he became aware of Mr Fearon's time in prison and his convictions.
"The defendant made some allegations in letters and emails which were also published in a local newspaper," she said.
"They were working together at the time of the offences, but the men are no longer working together."
Michelle Pibworth, defending, told the court Richardson had denied the claims throughout the case and continued to do so.
"The non-conviction restraining order makes the position very clear to Richardson.
"The order still allows the two men to communicate with each other at work, but their emails and letters would be monitored," she added.
"It allows business contact but nothing else."
The magistrates made the court order and also agreed to grant Richardson his costs. He had been paying his own defence.
Both men were in court to hear the conclusion of the case.
Richardson declined to answer any questions about his behaviour or his ability to do his job in the future.
When asked to comment after the case, a spokesman for Sevenoaks council said: "Mr Richardson no longer works for the council."
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
This is a brand new online resource covering every aspect of owning and improving a home in Kent and Medway.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Neil Miller, Hever Castle head gardener is new gardening blogger.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.