"She was sending me horrible text messages and voicemails"
Joanne Gillies, aged 39, of Staffordshire, has revealed horrific racist texts sent to her by her former mother-in-law after she fell pregnant with her partner, a man of Pakistani origin.
Joanne had been in a relationship with Jacqueline Polanski’s son Ricky for 22 years. However, they split and Joanne got into a relationship with Iftikhar Khan.
She explained: “I had a really good relationship with Jackie. I was with her son, Ricky, for 22 years, and so I saw her as my mother-in-law.
“I always turned to her when I needed help, which is what makes this all the more devastating.
“But after Ricky and I split, I met a new partner, a Muslim man, and Jackie really turned on me.”
Joanne met her ex-partner Ricky at school. They went on to have a family together. She also had a close relationship with his mother, revealing:
“I had lost contact with my own mum and Jackie became my mother figure.
“She had a key for my house, we went shopping together and we’d have a drink together.
“She would baby-sit for me and always bought birthday and Christmas gifts for my kids. Once when Ricky and I had nowhere to live she let us move in with her. She was really good to me.”
Joanne and Ricky split in 2014 and in late 2015, Joanne met Iftikhar.
“When Ricky heard I’d moved on, he was furious. I fell pregnant and Jackie got involved and she was really unpleasant.
“She was sending me horrible text messages and voicemails, many of which were racist.”
Joanne’s daughter Iliza was born in April 2016 and is of mixed race. The racist texts soon became intolerable.
“It should have been such a happy time, but Jackie was vile. She sent messages saying I was smelly and I was a s*** because I was with an Asian man.
“She said he would pass me round his whole family because that was what they did.
“She also said that me and my daughter should be burned. She called us ‘scum’.”
“The racist abuse made me feel vulnerable. I was frightened but I realised I had to speak out for my daughter’s sake. She was too young to speak for herself.”
Although Joanne and Iftikhar have since split, they remain good friends and he and his family were supportive throughout the court case.
Jackie, aged 57, of Blythe Bridge, Staffordshire, appeared at North Staffordshire Justice Centre in August 2020 and received a 12-month community order.
She pleaded guilty to sending an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing message by public communication.
Jackie must complete rehabilitation for 30 days. She was also made the subject of a 12-month restraining order, which prevents her from having any contact with her victim or going within 50 metres of her home.
Magistrates fined her £120 and ordered her to pay £135 costs and a £90 surcharge.
Following the conviction, Joanne is now trying to rebuild her life.
She said: “I want my daughter to grow up knowing that this kind of behaviour is not OK. I want to give her a voice. I did this for her.”