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Update: A Worlingham grandmother faces race charge hearing

PUBLISHED: 06:30 09 September 2011

Golliwog

Golliwog

A WORLINGHAM grandmother accused of racially aggravated harassment after a neighbour complained about a golliwog displayed in her window is set to deny the charge in court, her solicitor has revealed.

Jena Mason, 65, is due before Lowestoft magistrates on Tuesday after an incident last month.

Police were called on August 7 by a family who claimed Mrs Mason had displayed a golliwog doll in the window of her home following a dispute.

Golliwog dolls are considered by many to be racially offensive.

Mrs Mason, of College Lane, was arrested and has been charged with an offence under section 28 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

She is due to appear at Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court to face a charge of racially or religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing.

A police spokeswoman said the charge related to the display of “writing, signs or other visible representations, which are threatening, abusive or insulting, within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress.”

Stephen O’Donnell, whose wife is black and whose children are of mixed race, claimed the toy appeared in the window after a dispute and it caused offence to his family.

James Hartley, solicitor for Mrs Mason, said she intended to plead not guilty to the charge.

“It is an innocent act which has been interpreted in a completely different way,” he said.

He added: “She is devastated by what is going on.”

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