Autistic man is jailed for four months for abusive language

Autistic man is jailed for four months for bombarding court workers with abuse as he called them ‘Nazis’ and ‘scumbags’ four years after he won £25,000 discrimination payout

  • John Specter, 28, suffers from Asperger’s syndrome and was awarded damages from Winter Wonderland in 2018 after being refused entry to a ride
  • Specter sent multiple emails harassing staff at the Criminal Cases Review Commission and High Court 
  • He called one employee 121 times and sent threatening emails to other staff
  • He was handed a four-month jail sentence at Westminster Magistrates Court  

An autistic man who bombarded court workers with abuse, calling them ‘Nazis’ and ‘scumbags’ has been jailed for four months- four years after he won a £25,000 discrimination payout. Pictured: John Specter 

An autistic man who bombarded court workers with abuse, calling them ‘Nazis’ and ‘scumbags’ has been jailed for four months- four years after he won a £25,000 discrimination payout. 

Jonah Specter, 28, suffers from Asperger’s syndrome and was previously awarded damages in 2018 after he was refused entry to a ride at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. Across three years Specter sent multiple emails and voicemails terrorising staff at the Criminal Cases Review Commission and High Court between 30 May 2018 and 15 October 2021

He called one employee at the CCRC, John Jones, 121 times. In a statement read to the Westminster Magistrates Court, Mr Jones said: ‘This whole incident has made me feel extremely harassed.

‘I feel personally distressed from his suggestions that I should ‘f*** off and die, Nazi piece of trash. Mr Specter sent multiple emails that read ‘justice is coming scumbags, tick tock tick tock tick tock.’

The 28-year-old had also sent instructions to Emelia Bezant-Gahan, a solicitor working at the CCR specialising in defending civil cases as he wanted to make a claim against the Crown Court.  He introduced himself by writing: ‘Welcome to my justice process scumbags.’ 

Ms Bezant-Gahan told the court: ‘Overall these emails made me really anxious. They made me think he was deeply disturbed and dangerous. ‘I know that he knows my workplace address and he referenced making a crime scene at work. 

‘He mentioned multiple times he had alter egos including ‘Rage’. The way he communicated did not make me think he was acting rationally.’

Specter, of Waterloo Road, Uxbridge, was convicted of two charges of sending threatening messages, one for sending offensive messages, two charges of harassment without violence and one charge of criminal damage and sentenced to four months in jail. 

Jonah Specter, 28, suffers from Asperger’s syndrome and was awarded damages in 2018 after he was refused entry to a ride at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland (file image of a Ferris Wheel at Winter Wonderland). Over three years, Specter then sent multiple emails and voicemails terrorising staff at the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) and High Court between 30 May 2018 and 15 October 2021

The 28-year-old was also given a restraining order where he cannot enter the Royal Courts of justice or contact any of the victims of harassment.

Prosecuting, Sudara Weerasena previously told the court: ‘The email correspondence was abusive and offensive in nature.

‘He refers to members of staff as Nazis and calls recipients ‘filth and scumbags’ in capital letters.

‘The period of time, the persistence, the language used, are quite alarming in its content.’

In one email to the CCRC, Specter filed his complaint by saying: ‘I’ve now got all the necessary evidence to expose your crimes.

‘The Nazi British government has no real authority in relation to ‘the offence’. I will be drastically escalating the process to bring an end to your crimes.’

One police officer, referred to only as PC Hulatt, said he was left ‘living in fear’ after he received threatening emails from Specter.   

He said: ‘This leaves me with great anxiety and distress.

‘I have had a dream about Specter finding out where I live. I fear for my family’s safety.’

PC Hullatt said he is ‘afraid to open his emails at times, diagnosed with anxiety and receiving medication.’

Specter also harassed Matilda Egeonu on the phone, who worked at the judges’ listing office at the Royal Courts of Justice. She found it ‘seriously distressing.’ 

Ms Egeonu said: ‘He managed to somehow find our personal addresses. I fear Specter will seek to harass me in the future.’

Ms Weerasena told the court: ‘He said ‘Do not f**king hang up on me again am I clear?

‘I told you not to f*cking hang up again. I will arrest you, you will be on your kitchen floor in handcuffs. I will arrest you.’

‘He used repeatedly degrading language including ‘stupid b**** f*** off you stupid b****.’

Specter had also threatened to seize control of the work computer systems and gain access to their system.

The defendant had previously been able to identify the address and close family members of a High Court judge which caused workers ‘anxiety and stress.’

He called one employee at the CCRC, John Jones, 121 times. In a statement read to the Westminster Magistrates Court, pictured, Mr Jones said: ‘This whole incident has made me feel extremely harassed’

Specter, representing himself and wearing a grey tracksuit, told Westminster Magistrates’ Court: ‘It’s quite funny sitting through this by the criminal conspiracy…everything you do here is irrelevant.

Pointing at the prosecutor, Adrita Ahmed, he said: ‘I’m entertained by this person looking at me call the police and get them arrested.’

It comes four years after Specter was awarded a £25,000 payout by Winter Wonderland, believed to be the first person with a form of autism to successfully win a discrimination payout against an entertainment venue. 

When he tried to get on the Ferris wheel in 2017 he was told he did not have the right disabled access tickets and ‘didn’t even look disabled.’

The 34-year-old from Hayes, west London, disputed organisers’ claims and said they gave ride operators the tickets they had been sent.

He also suffers from schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and a rare genetic disorder.

Mr Specter was on a day out with carers as part of a recovery programme after being discharged from a psychiatric hospital.

He told The Times: ‘They were looking at me, giving me weird looks, a head-to-toe scan, saying ‘there is nothing wrong with him’.

‘That would never happen with someone in a wheelchair.’

After a 50-minute dispute Mr Specter was allowed to ride on the wheel. 

He asked for damages and a refund, but when organisers PWR events refused, he decided to take legal action.

Specter, of Waterloo Road, Uxbridge, was convicted of two charges of sending threatening messages, one for sending offensive messages, two charges of harassment without violence and one charge of criminal damage and sentenced to four months in jail. Pictured: Westminster Magistrates Court

A spokesman for PWR Events told the newspaper: ‘[We] worked very hard to accommodate Mr Specter and his carer. 

‘His tickets were sent to him on the day of purchase, and then re-sent to him onsite on the day of his visit upon request.’ 

Winter Wonderland came under fire in 2017 over claims it pays its staff ‘slave wages’ of £5 an hour and employs illegal workers.

An undercover probe by The Sun revealed the fair takes on staff without the proper employment documents, security checks or training.

Behind the scenes, stallholders and other staff were being paid £300 for a 60-hour week, with three hours unpaid training and cleaning factored in respectively.

Staff were often forced to work 12-hour days, with just 15-minute breaks – or even none at all, the newspaper claimed.

A spokesman for PWR Events and Royal Parks told MailOnline at the time: ‘We are very concerned by the allegations that have been made regarding one of our contractors who operate at the event.

‘We contractually require all of our contractors to carry out the necessary checks and comply with all statutory obligations and ensure staff welfare at all times. 

‘We take these accusations extremely seriously and are conducting a thorough investigation to ensure that all contractors comply.’

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