Parent called Wigan headteacher a 'sex case' and a 'paedo'

A parent threatened a new Wigan headteacher and called him a paedophile during a heated row in front of shocked children, a court heard.

Tuesday, 21st November 2017, 8:36 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 9:20 am
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court

Mark Joynt launched the tirade of abuse at Damien Wilson, head of St Jude’s RC Primary in Worsley Mesnes, after taking offence at the way he had spoken to his partner.

The incident took place in front of crowds of parents and young pupils, as they headed into school in the morning.

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Appearing at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court, Joynt, of Dickens Place, Worsley Mesnes, pleaded guilty to using threatening or insulting words and behaviour.

The 44-year-old was given a restraining order which prevents him from entering the school premises for the next two years.

The hearing was told how the incident unfolded in the morning as Mr Wilson - who was preparing for his first day as headteacher - was welcoming pupils back for their first day of school after the summer holidays.

He was approached by a woman, Joynt’s partner, who asked if he was still banned from the school premises. Joynt had reportedly been banned from the school grounds the previous term, for making “false accusations and malicious rumours” about the school, although the nature of the accusations was not explained.

Mr Wilson claimed to have politely told her that Joynt was indeed still not welcome, and she returned to her car with no animosity exchanged. Joynt, who was sitting in the car waiting, noted that his partner seemed upset upon her return. He angrily went to confront Mr Wilson about the incident, and claimed he had made her cry.

Mr Wilson remained calm and polite through the encounter while Joynt became more irate.

It was at this point that Joynt called Mr Wilson “a sex case” and “a paedo”.

After walking away and returning to his car, Joynt turned back and shouted: “I’ll have you.”

The incident occurred in front of many children, and caused a great deal of distress and embarrassment to Mr Wilson, who in a statement read by prosecutors, revealed he was left “deeply upset” as “comments like this can end careers”.

After being questioned by police, Joynt expressed remorse and admitted to some of the verbal abuse, but disputed calling Mr Wilson “a paedo”.

Defending, Ged Fraser told the bench: “Mr Joynt came to the premises with his partner. It wasn’t pre-planned.

“His partner says the exchange with Mr Wilson wasn’t as polite as he says. She claims Mr Wilson dismissed her off-hand and shouted at her: Mr Joynt will never be allowed back on site.

“She was visibly upset. Joynt then went to the school and said things he shouldn’t have. He was excluded from the premises for circulating rumours about the school, so there is a build-up to this.”

Joynt was handed a £235 fine in addition to the restraining order. While imposing the fine, magistrates told Joynt: “Verbal abuse of public figures is not acceptable, especially in front of children and parents.” Joynt apologised for his actions as he left the courtroom.