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    Man subjected snooker club owner to campaign of harassment after being barred


    A man who took exception to being barred from a snooker club ended up subjecting its owner to a campaign of harassment.

    John Slocombe distributed homemade leaflets with derogatory comments and pictures of the victim around a Co-op store before shouting abuse and recording him in the street.

    The 48-year-old also tweeted offensive comments about the male to the North East Snooker Centre, where he was proprietor, a court was told.

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    Slocombe, of Sand Piper Court, in Tynemouth, claimed that 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 trial of one count of harassment.

    Fining him £300, District Judge Zoe Passfield said: “This was ridiculous behaviour.

    “Bickering on social media is what’s to be expected of teenagers, not a grown man. If your behavior is repeated, you will be back before the courts and you will find yourself looking at going to prison.”

    North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard that it was just over two years ago, while the victim headed-up the Whitley Bay Snooker Hall, that he barred Slocombe from the premises.

    He went on to close that hall and set-up the North East Snooker Centre, in North Shields.

    Leanne Duffy, prosecuting, said there was a history of animosity between the two men 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 leaflets had been posted on shelves in the store and they contained a picture of him and derogatory comments,” Miss Duffy added.

    “They said he was a Covid-19 denier and a conspiracy theorist. On the same day, at 10.30pm, the victim saw the defendant outside his club recording him on his phone.”

    The court heard that the victim began recording Slocombe, who was shouting abuse.

    Miss Duffy said, a few days prior, Slocombe also sent derogatory tweets to the North East Snooker Centre.

    In a statement, the victim said: “John Slocombe has engaged in a course of conduct towards myself, my family and my business due to me barring him from the club due to his behaviour.

    “It’s had an effect on me and I just want it to stop.”

    The court was told that Slocombe had become convinced the victim was breaching Covid regulations last year and had taken it upon himself to try get evidence of his allegations, which the police said weren’t proved.

    However, his solicitor, Ruth Foster, conceded that his behavior had gone too far.

    She added: “There is a history between the two men, including [the victim] making false allegations about Mr Slocombe on Facebook.

    “In relation to the tweets, during the trial, the victim said he had never seen them, so Mr Slocombe was convicted on the basis of the leaflet drop and the incident that took place in the street.”

    As well as the fine, Slocombe was made subject of a restraining order, which banned him from contacting the victim, and was ordered to pay £620 costs and a £128 victim surcharge.

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