Woman jailed over campaign of racial hate that left victims scared to leave homes

A woman whose campaign of racially aggravated harassment left her victims living in fear has been jailed.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 12:12 pm

Barbara Aitchison, 57, of The Lanes, Rotherham, subjected her victims to verbal and physical abuse, following them to work and threatening them on multiple occasions.

During one incident, Aitchison grabbed and assaulted one of her victims.

The offences took place between March and June 2020.

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Barbara Aitchison led a campaign of racial hate against others in the town.

After being found guilty of racially aggravated harassment and racially aggravated common assault at an earlier hearing, Aitchison was sentenced on Wednesday at Sheffield Magistrates Court to 26 weeks in prison.

She was also served an indefinite restraining order, which bans her from contact, directly or indirectly, with the victims.

Hate Crime Officer PC Chris Nicholson said: “Aitchison’s victims lived in fear and ended up being afraid to leave their homes in case they were confronted.

“This was a prolonged and drawn out series of offences which has had a significant impact on the victims, who have been repeatedly racially abused and harassed.

“We are pleased that Aitchison has received a custodial sentence alongside her restraining order. It sends a signal that this type of criminality will be dealt with.

“Any form of hate crime or abuse is totally unacceptable and I want people to know that where these kind of offences are committed, and where we can gather supporting evidence, South Yorkshire Police will pursue justice.”