Barber faces jail for 'fool' hairdo
A barber faces jail after shaving the word "fool" in inch-high letters on to the back of the head of a man with severe learning difficulties, a court has heard.
Michael Campbell, 35, who has no formal qualifications in hairdressing, had been working at Jam Cuts in Stapleton Road, Bristol, for three weeks when Michael Ricketts walked into the salon on February 11.
The 49-year-old has communication difficulties and was described to the court as a "vulnerable adult" who mumbled his words and was difficult to understand.
Bristol Magistrates' Court heard that Mr Ricketts went into the barber's and asked to have a pattern shaved into his hair. Unbeknown to Mr Ricketts, who is originally from Jamaica, Campbell shaved the word "fool" with a smiley face underneath.
Following a day-long trial Campbell was found guilty of common assault.
Addressing Campbell, Eddie Strong, chairman of the bench, said: "We find that the evidence and accounts given by the prosecution witnesses to be credible and consistent. Yours was not. We are concerned that this has happened to a vulnerable person with learning difficulties.
"We are satisfied that you were aware of Mr Ricketts' difficulties and when he requested a haircut with a design from you, in fact, you created a design with the word 'fool' on the back of his head knowing that the victim has learning difficulties. We find the case proved."
Prosecutor Nick Evans told the court the aggravating factors of the case meant a custodial sentence was an option.
Campbell, from Hartcliffe, Bristol, was told by the bench they were "considering all options". He was told to return to the court on November 4 following the production of pre-sentence reports.
Giving evidence, Campbell had told the court Mr Ricketts had asked for a pattern and he had shaved the word "cool" but it had been misinterpreted. He also claimed that he had not noticed Mr Ricketts had learning difficulties.