Ex-teacher regrets stream of abuse

PUBLISHED: 13:32 10 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:20 03 March 2010

AN education officer who hurled a shocking torrent of abuse at a traffic warden when she was handed a parking ticket is counting the cost of losing her temper.

AN education officer who hurled a shocking torrent of abuse at a traffic warden when she was handed a parking ticket is counting the cost of losing her temper today..

Former teacher Katie Sharif of Christchurch Street, Ipswich was fined £350 for the outburst and said she now fears the criminal conviction could play havoc with her future.

"It could be the end of my career. It won't be easy to go back into teaching now with a criminal conviction," she said.

South East Suffolk magistrates heard how Sharif, an education officer for Suffolk County Council, told traffic warden Steve Cooper to "get a life" when he pointed out she was parked on double yellow lines on Christchurch Street.

The 30-year-old mother then swore repeatedly at the officer, throwing at him a tirade of abuse that was all the more shocking because she was accompanied by her two children at the time, said Philip Jones, prosecuting.

"She was asked to give her name and address but refused and again the traffic warden was met with swearing and abuse," he said.

Demurely dressed in a smart pink suit jacket when she appeared in court, Sharif admitted a charge of disorderly behaviour and failing to provide details to a traffic warden on March 9.

John Hughes, defending, told the court that his client's actions were totally out of character and partly provoked by a long running problem with parking outside her home.

"She felt as if the traffic warden had been sitting in waiting for her and the manner in which he behaved was because he had a colleague in the van and he was playing to an audience," said Mr Hughes.

"She accepts she lost her temper and her language was unacceptable."

Mr Hughes went on to explained that although Sharif had a parking space in a nearby street she was loath to use it because it was poorly lit and unsafe at night.

It was in the area where a 92-year-old woman was raped earlier in the year, he added.

Sentencing Sharif chairwoman of the bench Patricia Fiske said: "You verbally abused in a rather shocking manner a public servant going about his duty. As a public servant yourself I would have thought you would have more sympathy."

Sharif was fined £150 for abusing the officer and £100 for failing to supply her name and address. She was also ordered to pay £50 to him in compensation and £50 prosecution costs.

Outside the court Sharif told The Evening Star: "I do regret it. I'm normally fairly placid and even tempered. I just felt cornered and provoked."

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