Yob called Job Centre worker an 'ignorant bitch’ and told security guard 'I’ll spark you straight out' after row over sicknote

The incident happened at South Shields Job Centre.The incident happened at South Shields Job Centre.
The incident happened at South Shields Job Centre.
A South Tyneside yob has been fined by a court for striking terror into a female job centre worker by flying into a rage over a sicknote.

Stephen Alderson, 29, of West Stevenson Street, South Shields, swore at the staff member and was aggressive to her at the town’s Job Centre Plus in Chapter Row.

Magistrates heard he was angered at being asked to step into a side room to deliver a medical note when he had previously been able to do so at the check-in.

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He called the woman an “ignorant bitch” and said to security guards: “I’ll spark you straight out, I’ll knock you out.”

Alderson’s tirade, on Tuesday, November 11, last year continued even when his mother arrived to try to calm him down, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was told.

In a victim impact statement, the worker said she feared seeing Alderson again, adding: “As a result of this incident, I’m very upset and shocked.

“I live in the local area and I’m scared of the repercussions. There was no reasoning with Stephen Alderson.”

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Prosecutor Eve McDonnell said: “He had an appointment to attend with a sick note and he’s become agitated because staff have tried to usher him into a side room.

“He’s agitated, you can see by his behaviour.

“He said he had a sick note and didn’t need to attend and swore. Members of the public are there. He’s told that staff are going to contact the police.

“His mother then attends the job centre and follows him in. He calls [the job centre worker] an ‘ignorant bitch’.

“She fears that he’s going to use violence towards her, she’s scared by the way he’s being against her.”

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Joanne Gatens, defending, said: “There’s CCTV of the incident which doesn’t match with the what the victim says.

“He’s particularly calm when he walks in. He goes on to explain that he has a sicknote and intends to hand it in.

“For whatever reason, she was pointing him in the direction of a room. There’s a significant amount of discussion before he hands over the sicknote.

“He suffers from anxiety and depression after the stillbirth of a child, he’s on medication because he isn’t dealing with that particularly well.

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“All he was trying to say to her was that he’s never had to go into a room to hand in a sicknote.

“He acknowledges that he should not have behaved in that way. He acknowledges that there was a point where he lost control of the situation.

“The security guard who is standing watching the situation doesn’t take his hands out of his pockets.”

Alderson, who admitted a charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress, was fined £120.

He was also ordered to pay the woman £75 compensation and court costs of £85 and a £32 victim surcharge.