• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

False rumours were behind east Oxford man’s offending, court told


Jul 29, 2022

A mechanic’s life unravelled after a false rumour got about that he had raped a child, a court heard.

Tommy Holmes, 21, began binge drinking, although he was not reliant on alcohol.

He appeared before Oxford Magistrates’ Court this week to be sentenced for verbally abusing a police officer using a racial slur on December 6 last year.

He also admitted being inside a property that was subject to a court-imposed closure order banning anyone from going in.

READ MORE: Latest cases from Oxford Magistrates' Court

Mitigating, Bethan Chichester said that ‘at the time spanning his offences, a rumour had surrounded his close friends and family that he had raped a child’. She added: “There was no truth at all to this, but of course the rumour spread.”

The second offence, when he was caught in the sealed-up property, came after he was pulled-inside for safety. He had been drinking outside the Marston Road house with friends on June 26 when a number of men approached him, the court heard.

The court heard he worked as a mechanic and, since the June offence, had given up alcohol.

Holmes, of Saunders Road, east Oxford, pleaded guilty to racially-aggravated disorderly behaviour and breaching a closure order.

Imposing an 18 month community order with 80 hours of unpaid work and up to 25 probation sessions, the magistrates told Holmes: “It is time you grew up.”

He must pay £200 compensation to the officer and £180 in costs and surcharge.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward