A 78 year old grandmother convicted of racially abusing a family of travellers has won her battle to clear her name.
Community stalwart Jose Hampson, 78, always maintained she was innocent after four members of the same family said she launched a foul mouthed torrent of abuse at them when she scraped her car on a gate post.
Preston Magistrates Court heard Michael Linfoot, who lived on a traveller site close to Mrs Hampson’s home, approached her car but as he arrived he claimed the pensioner leapt from her vehicle and lost her temper, using racist and offensive language towards him and his family.
Widow Mrs Hampson, a former teacher and school governor, said she was horrified to be arrested and interviewed under caution for the allegations but says she had faith in the British justice system that her name would be cleared.
However when Deputy District Judge James Hatton found the grandma guilty of the alleged offence and ordered her to pay a £690 fine, £620 costs and a £69 victim surcharge, Mrs Hampson vowed to fight the conviction which saw her name dragged through the mud.
She says: “I could not believe an innocent person could be found guilty in a British court of law.
“My good character was destroyed and shopkeepers and the business community turned their back on me.
“I could not allow this to happen.”
On Friday, Mrs Hampson, who has run Hampson’s Toymaster in Market Street, Chorley, for more than 60 years with her family, appeared at Preston Crown Court where she made a successful appeal against her conviction.
She says: “I was shaking.
“I was so nervous but I had to see it through.
“I have had 11 months of worry and shame but what was most important to me is that justice was done and I was vindicated of these vile lies.”
Mrs Hampson now has an unblemished record and no longer has to pay the costs brought against her.