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The boss of a healthcare company mocked a woman with Tourette's after seeing her in a supermarket.
The disabled woman was shopping in a Morrisons in Bacup, Lancashire, with a friend when she experienced an arm tic as she walked past Paul Halliday.
In response, Halliday, 52, began openly mocking her by smacking his hands against one another in a taunt widely associated with mocking disability, Lancs Live reports.
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Blackburn Magistrates' Court also heard that Halliday had called the woman a s**z and told her that “people like you shouldn’t be let out".
The malicious outburst was so triggering for the women receiving Halliday’s abuse that she has consequently began suffering seizures.
The woman's friend stepped in to help the women, but Halliday reportedly ignored attempts to intervene until a supermarket staff member threatened to bar him.
The court was shown the CCTV footage which captured the incident. However, Halliday denied accusations of threatening behaviour.
Halliday did admit to using the word ‘s**z’ but denied that his words or behaviour were intended to alarm or distress the women.
Halliday, who sells disability aids for his company Halliday Healthcare Ltd, was given a six-month curfew and ordered to pay £200 compensation, £650 costs, and £95 victim surcharge.
“It’s been made worse by the fact he works for a healthcare company,” the victim's mum said.
“The whole thing is really distressing and he has dragged it out for as long as he could. He had more than one opportunity to admit what he had done.
The mother said that her daughter had not been out of the house for a year after being diagnosed with a functional neurological condition, which causes involuntary vocal tics and body twitches.
The day of Halliday’s verbal attack had been a rare occasion in which the woman had decided to challenge herself to her first outing since her diagnosis.
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The incident had significantly affected the women whose tics can be induced by stress.
The mum added: “She now has multiple seizures every day, which never happened before the incident.
“Developing a neurological condition in her early 20s has been distressing enough, but to be subjected to this kind of treatment by someone who should know better is appalling.”
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