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Man sent ‘racist’ card with monkey on it to mixed-race family of ex-workmate

Bryan Olliver, 48, sent the card with the image of a monkey and also used newsprint to spell out the chilling message ‘be off with u’ before sending it to Michael Read – whose partner is of Jamaican and German heritage

This is the card Olliver sent to the mixed-race family of a former workmate

A bricklayer sent a racist greeting card with a monkey on the front to the mixed-race family of a former workmate, a court heard today.

Bryan Olliver, 48, sent the card with the image of a monkey and the word “selfie” in red lettering.

Olliver also used newspaper print to spell out the chilling message “be off with u” before sending it to Michael Read – whose partner of 20 years is of Jamaican and German heritage.

Enquiries with the company that sold the card on eBay in 2019 found it was bought with Olliver’s PayPal account and sent to his home in Oxfordshire.



Bryan Olliver was found guilty of sending malicious communications, assault by beating and common assault
(

Image:

Oxford Mail / SWNS)




Olliver denied he sent the card to Mr Read and claimed a 15-year-old who held a grudge against his former workmate could have ordered the card.

Olliver said the teen had previously worked for Mr Read, who he claimed had not paid the youth a pre-agreed daily rate.

He added that the teen “grafted all week and got peanuts for it”.

Olliver suggested the boy could have been able to access his laptop – which was not password protected.









Olliver’s story was rejected at Oxford Magistrates’ Court and was found guilty of sending malicious communications, assault by beating and common assault.

Speaking after the hearing, Heidi Price, Michael’s partner, welcomed the verdicts.

She told the OxfordMail: “It’s standing up to bullying and racism; that’s what it means to me.

“Olliver has been held accountable for his bullying and racism.”



The card also had this chilling message in it written with newspaper print
(

Image:

Oxford Mail / SWNS)




The court heard Mr Read had returned home around Christmas 2019 to find the greeting card.

When asked in court about the card and what the message conveyed, Mr Read said: “Racism to my family.”

When asked how it affected his partner, Mr Read told the prosecutor she was “devastated”.

The envelope and card were not submitted for DNA analysis or fingerprints.







Four months later, in April 2020, it was alleged Olivier leaned out the passenger window of a car and spat at Mr Read as he cycled past.

Spittle landed on Mr Read’s arms and trousers, but he told the court he was not asked by the police to bag the trousers for forensic analysis.

A month later, Angela, Mr Read’s mum, claims she was walking her dog when she saw Olliver driving past in a grey van.

He spat but did not strike her.

Olliver said he’d known Mr Read when they both worked for building contractors Butler and Proctor around a decade earlier. They did not know each other socially.

Olliver, who had no previous convictions but made several allegations about his victims from the stand, told the justices he was “bemused” by the charges.

He denied spitting at the Reads, saying he would have been walking his dog or shopping when Mr Read claimed he was attacked.

He was in the area where Mrs Read said she was spat at but denied committing the assault.

Chairman of the bench Fiona Clarke bailed Olliver, of Woodcote, to return to Oxford Magistrates’ Court on October 20 for sentencing.

The magistrates ordered a pre-sentence report.

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