Judge bars man from newspaper's offices

PUBLISHED: 12:17 18 August 2006 | UPDATED: 22:07 28 May 2010

A MARCH man has given a formal undertaking to Peterborough County Court that he will not visit the March office of the Cambs Times or contact any of its staff. The newspaper had originally sought an injunction against John Thomas Hammond, who is registere

A MARCH man has given a formal undertaking to Peterborough County Court that he will not visit the March office of the Cambs Times or contact any of its staff.

The newspaper had originally sought an injunction against John Thomas Hammond, who is registered blind, but at last Thursday's hearing Judge Neil McKittrick said he preferred to take the middle ground with an undertaking to the court.

Both parties agreed to this and the judge warned Mr Hammond, 61, of Queens Street, March, that the undertaking had legal force and if he broke it he could go to prison.

The court heard that the Cambs Times had published a story last year about Mr Hammond, who wanted the newspaper to publish a further story, which the editor decided not to do.

Steve McGregor, for the Cambs Times, told the judge that police had been called on at least three occasions to remove Mr Hammond from the newspaper's office.

Mr McGregor read part of a transcript of a recording of Mr Hammond's last visit, on July 26, when he said: "Yes, of course I am a nuisance to you and I will continue to be so."

Mr Hammond told the court the reason he visited the office was that he had been treated rudely and wanted an apology.

Last month, the owner of an antiques shop in Felixstowe was ordered by Ipswich County Court to pay damages and costs totalling more than £1,800 to Mr Hammond after being found guilty of discrimination.

The court heard she had refused Mr Hammond and his guide dog entry to the shop.

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