A man who targeted homes in Market Harborough with offensive leaflets has been given an nationwide ban after being convicted of harassment.
Damon Jonah Kelly, 53, formerly of Millais Road, Corby, was sentenced on Friday after pleading guilty to harassment at an earlier hearing.
He appeared at Leicester Magistrates Court he was sentenced to a 12-month community order and issued with a nationwide Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).
The conviction relates to two incidents in Edward Road, Leicester in October 2014.
Kelly was distributing leaflets locally when the occupants of one of the houses challenged him on the content of the leaflets and he then subjected them to offensive comments.
Kelly then returned to the address on another day and posted a letter through their mailbox, the content of the letter caused them a great deal of anxiety and distress.
Following the conviction the Magistrate granted a five year CBO which prohibits Kelly from distributing offensive leaflets anywhere in the country.
Investigating officer Emma Jayne, said: “During the investigation into the harassment we discovered evidence that Kelly had distributed more than 20,000 leaflets across the country which while not deemed criminal were extremely offensive and caused a great deal of distress to the recipients
“Leaflets have been distributed in Market Harborough, Loughborough and Leicester, but also in a number of counties across the country including Lincolnshire, Brighton, Cambridgeshire, Warwickshire and Northampton. Kelly had no regard for the effect his leaflets would have on people, some of the recipients were vulnerable and the leaflets only added to their distress.
“We are pleased that the courts have issued Kelly with the CBO and hopefully that will put a stop to his thoughtless actions.
“We would encourage people to report any breaches of the injunction to us or their local police force on 101.”
Leicestershire Police’s hate crime officer Darren Goddard, said: “This has been a difficult case involving the right of free speech and I would like to thank all of the victims across the UK for having the confidence to report these incidents to the police. It is clear from the number of complaints the police received that Kelly’s behaviour has had a significant impact on many people across the Country.
“I hope that today’s sentence which has been increased by the Magistrates from 140 hours unpaid work to 170 hours unpaid work due to the homophobic, element gives people reassurance that the police, Crown Prosecution Service and the courts take hate crime seriously.”