The shocking catalogue of threats and abuse suffered over two years

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The Independent Online

Early August 1997: Errol McGowan and his fiancée, Sharon Buttery, are approached in a supermarket by Robert Boyle, who allegedly shouts racist abuse and wants to fight him there and then.

14 August 1997: Mr McGowan and Ms Buttery are walking in Church Street, Wellington, Telford, with their two children when Boyle allegedly directs racist abuse at Mr McGowan.

Date unknown: Mr McGowan and his son, Omar, are seen driving through Wellington by the Boyle gang, who try unsuccesfully to lure Mr McGowan out of the vehicle into a pub. Incident reported to police; police log states: "Errol knew they would beat him up."

April 1999: Dean Gordon, from Telford, claims to have met Birmingham City football hooligans who said Boyle had told them Wellington was "full of niggers and Pakis and that he was going to get them sorted out". Mr Gordon claimed to have been shown a "hit list" of names including Mr McGowan and his friend Malik Hussain.

May 1999: Racist graffiti found in a doorway at the Charlton Arms hotel where Mr McGowan works. It says: "Errol is a black b******."

On 8 May, a brawl erupts at the Tender Fried Chicken shop in Telford after Mr McGowan, Mr Hussain and a friend, Mo Fiaz, are spotted by the Boyle gang, who allegedly say: "There ain't no black in the Union Jack." Mr McGowan does not get involved.

Mr McGowan tells a friend, Karl Broadmore, that he has received written death threats including one saying he would be "skinned alive".

Mr McGowan tells his sister, Lorna, that he has been subjected to racial abuse outside a Telford chip shop.

June 1999: Harassment and intimidation becomes intense. A group of people outside the Charlton Arms chant "Nigger" towards the door where Mr McGowan is standing. Mr McGowan tells family members that he is being followed by those who are harassing him.

Throughout the month, Mr McGowan and his Asian colleagues see people driving past the Charlton Arms making "throat-slitting" and "smoking gun" gestures towards them.

14 June 1999: One of Mr McGowan's colleagues at the Charlton Arms, Rob King, is working at the Swan pub when he is approached by Boyle and Eddie Solon. After they are refused entry, Solon allegedly says: "All these f****** niggers should be off the door, f****** niggers and Pakis shouldn't be working on the doors."

15 June: A telephone call to the pub is relayed to Mr McGowan by another member of staff. It warns that he is a "dead nigger".

17 June: Thomas Mann, one of the Boyle gang who has been barred from the Charlton Arms, is refused entry to the pub. He is restrained while shouting "You black b*******" at the door staff.

18 June: A telephone message is relayed to the Charlton Arms manager, John Booth. A woman caller says she has a message for Mr McGowan: "Tell him from me, he's a f****** black b****** and he's dead."

25 June: Mr McGowan contacts several members of his family to say he is afraid there will be trouble from the Boyle gang at the Charlton Arms that weekend, although it does not materialise.

27 June: A woman telephones the Charlton Arms wanting to speak to Mr McGowan, who is not working. She says to tell him: "He's a black b****** and he's dead."

2 July: Neighbour reports a car outside Mr McGowan's house sounding its horn. Later there are reports of a gang of men driving past the Charlton Arms "celebrating" Mr McGowan's death.

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