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Oxfam seeks injunction to ban pensioner
6:30am Thursday 6th October 2011 in News
OXFAM has racked up almost £10,000 in legal costs trying to ban a pensioner from its Taunton shop.
But Barry Nowlan says he has a legitimate complaint about Oxfam’s ‘political campaigning’.
The charity has been in dispute with Mr Nowlan for months after he objected to a poster in The Bridge premises.
It accuses him of causing “great distress”, “harassing volunteers”, “offensive language”, “intimidation” and “raising your voice” – which he denies.
Mr Nowlan admits entering the building since Oxfam banned him by letter and the charity is now seeking a County Court injunction.
The retired bank clerk, and Lloyds shareholder, complained to staff about a poster demanding a tax on the banks.
He said: “I tried to explain and wrote to the chief executive saying it’s not the business of charities to interfere in politics.
“Three weeks later I received a letter saying I was banned from the shop.
“I still go in and buy books – if the manager’s there, she asks me to leave.
“They’ve tried to get me to sign an undertaking not to enter the shop.
“I’m not giving in - I’ve done nothing wrong.”
A spokeswoman said Oxfam decided as a last resort to apply for the injunction later this month because Mr Nowlan had been harassing the manager and volunteers and his visits “are far beyond what any staff have a right to expect”.
She added: “It’s a time-consuming and costly process, but it’s our duty to provide a safe working environment for our staff and volunteers.
“Oxfam has made every effort to resolve the situation but, despite our best efforts to reason with him, his behaviour has been such that we now feel there’s no other choice but to apply to take out an injunction.”
The law firm handling the matter is sharing the costs of the legal action. Mr Nolan says he has been told the costs currently stand at £9,668.20.
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