Bodycam footage helps convict man after tirade of abuse at council worker
Bodycam footage captured by a Cheshire East Council parking officer subjected to threats and a tirade of verbal abuse, has landed a van driver in court and a fine.
Steven Williamson,42, of The Pines, Wythenshawe, pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive, insulting words and behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress when he appeared at Stockport Magistrates Court on 6 June.
The offence was on 22 December 2021 when Williamson was in Canute Square in Knutsford. His behaviour was witnessed by a passer-by and staff from a café.
Williamson had parked his van on double yellow lines and halfway on the pavement close to a busy roundabout while he went to buy food at a nearby sandwich shop.
The abuse began when he returned to his van just as the parking officer (civil enforcement officer) was about to issue the parking ticket.
He then launched into a tirade of abuse, using foul and threatening language. He started to drive off but then stopped and got out of his vehicle at the junction. He then continued to berate the civil enforcement officer in an aggressive manner. The whole incident lasted several minutes.
Williamson was fined £120, with court and prosecution costs totalling £119. The maximum sentence is six months imprisonment.
Councillor Craig Browne, Cheshire East Council deputy leader and chair of the highways and transport committee, said: “Our civil enforcement officers carry out an excellent and important job on behalf of our law-abiding residents and should not have to tolerate this kind of abuse and behaviour.
“This was a shocking case of abuse and, fortunately, the police, armed with the bodycam footage from our officer, were able to secure a successful prosecution. I am more than a little disappointed with the level of the fine, which does not appear to match the severity of the incident.”
Cllr Browne added: “We will not tolerate abuse of our staff, whether they are out and about in our towns and villages carrying out their work, or in council offices in public-facing roles. I would like to thank Cheshire police for taking this case to court and securing a successful outcome.
“Sadly, this is not the worst case of abuse our civil enforcement officers experience. Some have been physically assaulted, kicked and punched. This prosecution sends out a message that we will report these incidents to the police and pursue them through the courts.”
The parking officer, who we are not naming, said: “We get this sort of thing every day, but this fella had crossed the line, which is why I went to the police with the camera footage.
“I was pretty shaken up by it. It was the third incident that morning and only a few days before Christmas, but I am pleased with the outcome in court and hope this sends out a message that we have a job to do like everyone else.
“I would also like to thank the member of the public who offered to stay with me until Williamson had left the scene altogether.”