The mother of a serial rapist harassed victims who gave evidence against him, a court heard.
Tracey Hoque’s son Darren Sysum, 29, was convicted last year of five rapes and other offences of sexual and physical assault on women as well as using controlling and coercive behaviour.
During his trial his mother targeted two of the women who gave evidence against him - one while she was in court and the other in a shop.
Hoque, 49, of Matson Avenue, Gloucester, was sentenced to an 18-month community order with 150 hours of unpaid work after she pleaded guilty to harassment of one woman between Nov 7-11 2021 and common assault on the other woman on Dec 1 2021.
Hoque’s son was jailed in February 2022 after being convicted by a jury of five charges of rape, one of sexual assault by penetration, one of assault causing actual bodily harm, using coercive and controlling behaviour towards a woman, distributing indecent images and repeatedly breaching a restraining order.
David Maunder, the prosecutor, told the court this week that Ms Hoque attended her son’s trial and was in the public gallery.
Victim A had been giving evidence at the trial for over two days and at the end of the first day’s hearing she was being driven home by a police support officer when she received a Facebook message from Hoque enquiring about a fridge she had advertised for sale a year earlier.
“It was curious, even sinister, that Hoque should be asking about the fridge at that moment, especially as it was an old message which would have taken a lot of effort to find after so long. The enquiry was sent to the victim by Hoqie only eight minutes after they had left the court building.
“The witness was immediately very frightened. This was plainly no coincidence. She felt sure that the message was not about a fridge, it was because the defendant wanted her to know that she was around and present and that she was someone who was going to have some influence in her life.”
Mr Maunder said the next day the witness returned to court to resume her evidence and was told that Hoque would be in the public gallery behind the witness box and out of her field of vision.
“At one stage the court rose for a short break and as the lady turned to leave the witness box she looked up and saw Hoque standing at the front of the public gallery leaning over the railings and staring aggressively at her,” said Mr Maunder.
“She was terrified by this.”
He said Hoque was arrested and taken to a side room in the building and her mobile phone was seized.
The second of Hoque’s victims was a woman who had also given evidence against Sysum and he was convicted of offences against her in 2018, said the prosecutor.
Sysum’s trial concluded on Nov 26 and five days later, on Dec 1, the woman was in a shop in Gloucester when she saw Hoque hovering around in the crisps and snacks aisle.
‘I will be seeing you’
“The woman left the shop and as she did so Hoque told her ‘I will be seeing you. You’re going to get yours, you f***ing c**t’.
“Hoque shouted at the woman, repeating the same threat, as the victim walked away.
“When the victim got home she immediately phoned the police and then sat and cried, feeling embarrassed and vulnerable.”
“Both victims gave statements to the court and they were read by the judge but not revealed publicly.”
Alec Small, defending, said Hoque denied that she had leaned over the public gallery railing in court but admitted that she had been staring down at the first witness.
He added: “There must have been some anxiety crossover and she was distressed about her son’s trial and this was evident during the court proceedings.
“Since her arrest she has been terrified of causing any further offences. She has been living a solitary lifestyle while this has been hanging over her head.”
Hoque was sentenced to an 18-month community order and ordered to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work and pay a contribution towards court costs of £250.
Hoque was also made subject to the terms of a five-year restraining order not to contact her victims.