A man told how he took matters into his own hands after being subjected to a torrent of homophobic abuse in his Lancaster home – by catching his harasser on camera.
The victim, who asked not to be named, refused to be initimidated when Shaun Gallagher banged on his door and yelled hate-filled language in the middle of the night.
Gallagher, 49, of Skerton House, Lancaster, was found guilty of harassment on three occcasions after the film was used as evidence in court.
His victim also became the first person in Lancashire to be involved in a new initiative called Community Trigger, aimed at helping those caught up in hate crime.
Speaking to the Lancaster Guardian, he told how on three occasions in the middle of the night he was woken by banging on his door and shouting.
He said: “At 2am on the first occasion there was a banging on my door and he said: “I want to talk to you, you ***** poof.
“The police came out but they couldn’t get him.
“Three days later they started an investigation.
“Then again it was a similar thing at 3.30am, banging on the door.
“On the third occasion he banged on my door inside and went outside and was taking photos of my bedroom.
“He was shouting ‘Come out and fight me you poof.’
“Two days later he was charged.”
He added: “The CCTV I filmed was shown in court as part of the evidence which all helped with the conviction.”
The victim installed CCTV six years ago when he moved to the area and all his neighbours were aware he had cameras on the property.
He said: “I just don’t want this to happen to anyone else. I said I wouldn’t be bullied and intimidated by him.
“I received counselling and I wasn’t sleeping at night. I didn’t know if he was going to be banging on my door.
“I’m happy its all over. Wherever people live they should be able to feel safe.
“I hope my experiences will help people because if there is a problem they will know what to do.
“A lot of hate crime goes unreported.”
Gallagher pleaded guilty to harassment on three occasions, August 6, 18 and 22, 2014, and was given a community order with 12 week curfew and a restraining order.
He was ordered to pay court costs of £200 and a victim surcharge of £60.
He did not wish to comment when approached by The Lancaster Guardian.
The victim was the first person in Lancashire to be involved in a new initiative called Community Trigger, confirmed Lancaster City Council.
As he had endured one incident motivated by hate in the six months from one individual, he met the criteria of the Community Trigger threshold.
Mark Davies, chief officer (Environment), said: “The Community Trigger was introduced nationally as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act in October 2014.
“It is a process which allows members of the community to ask local agencies such as Lancaster City Council and Lancashire Constabulary to review their responses to complaints of anti-social behaviour if they believe no action has been taken.
“The Trigger is designed to ensure agencies work together, use their resources and share information to try and resolve complaints about anti-social behavior.”
For more information, please visit www.lancaster.gov.uk/communitytrigger.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “Lancashire Constabulary prides itself on striving to make its communities safer and feel safer, this is no more so than in those communities who are particularly vulnerable to Hate Crime and are victimised because of animosity towards them motivated by their religion, faith, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation.
“We are committed to tackling all crime motivated by hate and prejudice and we would urge anyone who has been a victim of a hate crime to have the confidence to come forward and report it to police.
“Victims will always be dealt with professionally and sympathetically.
Hate crimes can be reported to police on 101 and and at www.lancashire.police.uk.
Hate crimes can also be reported through True Vision, a national online reporting facility at www.report-it.org.uk