Man accused of harassment and death threats against transgender woman

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court

A transgender woman was subjected to a campaign of hate crime and harassment by an abusive man, a court has heard.

Douglas Edwards, 53, of Dickson Road, Blackpool, allegedly threatened to kill her in a nightclub following months of other transphobic incidents.

Edwards denies a charge of putting a person in fear of violence by harassment and is on trial at Preston Crown Court.

The case relates to several occasions on which he approached the complainant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, over a period between March and September last year.

In one, Edwards is said to have shouted: “You’re all men dressed as women”, sworn and used an offensive term. In another incident he allegedly made a “T” sign at her.

Prosecuting, Gemma Maxwell said: “The complainant in this case is transgender. When out therefore he identifies as a woman. She socialises with other transgender individuals.

“Their venue of choice is a place called Peekaboos, a cabaret bar on Dickson Road, Blackpool.

“It is the Crown’s case that this campaign of threatening behaviour is a form of hate crime which involved a number of discreet incidents.

“You will have to consider those incidents in due course.

“Although she will tell you the defendant approached her on at least a dozen occasions, she can specifically remember an early incident which involved him stating he was going to smash the windows in.

“This followed an incident on March 5 where the defendant had been verbally abusive stating that he was going to ‘do them in’.

“The complainant believes it is a result of her having on a previous occasion rejecting the sexual advances of this defendant.”

The court heard after a further incident in which Edwards leapt out of a takeaway and shouted at them, there was a “lull”.

But on September 18, she was at Peekaboos with friends and they decided to go to the Duke of York pub on Dickson Road.

The transgender woman saw Edwards approaching and tried to avoid eye contact but he then started gesticulating towards her, mouthing: ‘Your time is nigh - it’s coming soon.”

Three days later on September 21, the complainant left her workplace as her male identity and saw Edwards sitting on a bike watching.

Two days later on September 23 he approached her in the beer garden of Peekaboos and threatened to kill her, saying her “time was nearly up”.

The incident was witnessed by the joint owner of Peekaboos, along with a doorman and bar manager.

Edwards denies the incidents.

Miss Maxwell added: “It is the Crown’s case these incident did render the complainant genuinely in fear that violence would be used against her by this defendant.”

(Proceeding)