Gay teacher Jacques Frances to leave Kent after noose left at Chilham home in homophobic hate campaign
A noose was
hung outside Jacques Frances's Chilham home
by Jamie Bullen
A gay teacher is leaving Kent after becoming the
victim of a hate campaign that saw a hangman's noose hung
outside her house.
Jacques Frances said she has been forced to sell up and
seek a fresh start after 10 years in Canterbury - where she
claims to have endured some of the "worst experiences" in her
the day MPs are due to vote on gay marriage proposals, the
46-year-old told how she has been the victim of assault,
trespassing and thefts and overlooked for employment opportunities
because of her sexuality.
She also recalled the chilling discovery of a noose hung up
outside her home while she was living in Chilham - plunging
her into a battle with anxiety.
Ms Frances, pictured right, said: "I just couldn't believe
anyone could do that. It happened at a time when I was being more
open about who I was. For me it was a clear attack.
"I have had some of the worst experiences of my life here in
Ms Frances said she moved to Canterbury with her now ex-partner
10 years ago after she enrolled on a religious course at the
University of Kent.
She worked part-time at Canterbury College for two years and is
also a fully trained solicitor.
Having spent time in both London and Leicester, she said she is
shocked by attitudes to homosexual people in Kent, saying she
feels worried every time she leaves her Chartham home.
Ms Frances said: "My home is on the market because I can't live
here with a sense of peace - it is impossible.
"I want to be able to live here, but I don't feel like I can.
There is a limit for what a human being should have to put up
"I know politically things are changing, but it has come too
late for me."
Her sentiments were echoed last month when
gay campaigners Andrew Brettell and Martin Lammas announced they
were moving from Canterbury to Norwich.
The duo, who founded Pride in Canterbury, claimed Norwich was a
vibrant, gay-friendly city that could help them relax and feel
In a goodbye letter published on their website they said:
"Young, middle-aged or old, there is little for gay people in
Ms Frances said she understood the decision adding: "I was
shocked but not surprised because there is nowhere for gay people
to go here."
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