Monday 2nd August 2010 – 2:07pm
Disabled woman spared jail for racially abusing shop worker
A disabled woman who racially abused a shop worker after she was asked to move her mobility scooter was today spared jail.
Corinne Graehame, 57, breached her anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) when she called beautician Dayna Farrell a "black bitch" in front of shoppers at Boots in Nottingham's Victoria Centre.
She hurled a torrent of abuse at the 20-year-old after being told to mind a woman with a pram as she reversed the scooter, Nottingham Magistrates' Court heard.
Graehame was blocking the aisle in the shop's cosmetics department shortly before the confrontation in December last year.
At the time she was subject to an Asbo preventing her from using abusive language or threatening behaviour, the court was told.
Today, Graehame was handed a six-month suspended jail sentence. She was also ordered to pay Ms Farrell, who said the incident "knocked her confidence", compensation of £100 and £150 in court costs.
Elaine Oldham, prosecuting, said: "Nobody could get past and a number of people started to gather in front and behind Miss Graehame.
"She was there for a number of minutes before she started to reverse her mobility scooter. The complainant (Ms Farrell) said Miss Graehame started reversing her scooter and there was a young lady behind her with a pram.
"The complainant moved towards her and asked her to be careful as there was a baby behind her.
"She (Miss Graehame) said: 'I don't have eyes in the back of my head' to which she (Ms Farrell) said, 'It wouldn't take much to look behind you'."
Miss Farrell said Graehame then called her a "cow" and a "stuck-up bitch" before pretending to cry in to her hands.
The court heard other shoppers started to gather around Graehame to see if what the matter was.
This prompted her to point at Miss Farrell, shouting, "That black bitch is picking on me."
Chris Brewin, defending, said his client had many friends of ethnic origin from her time working as a music producer.
He said Graehame, of Orchard Court, Whitemoor, Nottingham, was an anthropology graduate who suffered from diabetes and took anti-depressants.
Graehame was earlier found guilty of racial abuse and breaching her Asbo, which was imposed last August after she was convicted of racially abusing a passenger on the city's tram.
She has also been banned from the city's John Lewis store.