Court orders housing boss Steven Richardson to stop bullying colleague
The case was heard at
Dartford Magistrates' Court
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
"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
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,"
"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."
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