Nick Britten, Telegraph (London), Sept. 14
A woman who scrawled the word “nigger” across a girl’s forehead as a “joke” is facing jail after being convicted of racially-aggravated assault.
Fay Stockley, 57, was looking after children at her home when she began writing on their foreheads. She went round the other children — all of whom were white — writing their names before getting to the three-year-old black girl.
The word was still visible when the girl returned home and social services were called. When questioned by police, Stockley admitted what she had done but dismissed it as a “private joke” between her and the girl.
She claimed the youngster regularly referred to herself in derogatory terms and had actually “pestered” her to write the word on her. But later, giving evidence to a jury at Derby Crown Court, she insisted she had actually written “Tigger” because they were playing a game based on Winnie the Pooh characters at the time.
Mark Achurch, prosecuting, told her: “In interview you repeatedly said you wrote ‘nigger’ across her forehead. You said it should be kept between yourselves as ‘just a bit of a laugh’.”
Stockley denied a charge of racially-aggravated assault between February and September last year, but was convicted by a jury.
The Recorder, John Aucott, granted bail but gave warning that she might face imprisonment when sentenced later this month. Stockley, of Mickleover, Derby, could be jailed for up to two years or given an unlimited fine for the offence.
Yesterday the Crown Prosecution Service said it was right that the case was brought as an assault charge because of its serious nature.
(Posted on September 14, 2005)