Businesswoman denies charges

Jose Hampson
Jose Hampson

A Chorley community stalwart has denied racially aggravated harassment against travellers in a row over land near her home.

Grandmother Jose Hampson, 77, a school governor who runs Hampson’s Toymaster in Market Street, is also accused of using threatening words and behaviour against the traveller family.

Hampson, a widow, was summonsed to appear at Preston Magistrates’ Court where she stood in the dock and pleaded not guilty to both charges.

The defendant remained seated and smiled at the bench as she was asked to stand, apparently unable to hear the JP’s request until he motioned with his hands.

Hampson, of Hallsworth Fold Farm, Chorley, is understood to be a significant figure in a long-running local campaign against the use of green belt land near her home by a family of
travellers.

She is accused of racial or religiously aggravated harassment under the Crime and Disorder Act and using threatening words and behaviour under the Public Order Act after an alleged incident on April 18.

No further details about the alleged offences were given in court.

During the brief hearing Hampson entered her not guilty pleas and a trial date was set.

Chairman of the bench James Park told her: “We are going to have a trial on August 30. There are no bail conditions.”