Brain injury woman told carer she ‘despised all black men’ 

A woman in need of constant care after suffering a brain injury told her Jamaican support worker she despised all black men, a court heard.

Valeska Hunter, 41,  previously admitted two charges of racially aggravated harassment and was back before Lerwick Sheriff Court for sentencing today (Wednesday).

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said the offences, which were carried out against two carers, were “very serious and concerning”.

The court heard how Hunter used offensive and racist language which left her carers shocked, upset and fearing for their safety.

Sheriff Cruickshank ordered Hunter to undergo  12 months of supervision as an alternative to what would have been an “extremely significant” financial penalty.

“You are somebody who requires almost constant support from others,” he said.

“You must realise that those providing you with support deserve respect and that means you don’t make comments like this to people who are tasked with looking after you.”

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Hunter required 24-hour care after sustaining a brain injury.

She was staying at Isleshavn Care Centre in Yell on 26th August last year when the first racist outburst happened.

The Jamaican care worker heard a clattering in the kitchen and went to see what the noise was about when he encountered Hunter.

The accused asked him “what the f**k are you looking at?”

He replied that he was just investigating the noise and asked her to show him the same respect as he shown her.

The carer continued his duties helping other residents, only for Hunter to tell him repeatedly how she “despised all black men”.

“He was so upset by these comments that he had to leave the room to compose himself,” Mr MacKenzie said.

“Another resident was also upset by the accused’s behaviour and was in tears as a result of it.”

Hunter later moved out of the home and into another address in Lerwick where she continued to receive care.

A Pakistani woman had just started her overnight shift when Hunter began calling her a “stupid P*** bitch”.

This continued for two-and-a-half hours, the court heard.

The carer was so concerned by the accused”s behaviour that she moved herself into another room and locked the door because she felt unsafe.

The fiscal said the accused continued shouting abuse through the door, saying “I don’t like black people”. 

After leaving the door, she sent a text message to the carer calling her a “fat cow” and saying “at least I’m not a black n*****r”

“It’s difficult to convey how shocked and upset this social care worker was by the behaviour demonstrated to her,” Mr MacKenzie said.

“She contacted her manager that night and asked to be taken off the accused’s service.”

Defence agent Tommy Allan said the report presented to the court showed the extent to which his client required support for her day-to-day life.

But while her injury affected her decision-making, Mr Allan also confirmed Hunter knew right from wrong and accepted she should not have used such language.

He said she had been “extremely nervous” about attending court and it was to her credit that she had manged to turn up.


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