A DEVASTATED mother has spoken of a campaign of hatred waged against her son after he was jailed for possessing a knife on the streets of Bridgwater.

Nicola Rixon claims her son Jemall, who was sentenced to 17 months in prison on Friday, was the target for a campaign of racial abuse - which is why he was carrying a blade.

At Friday's hearing, Jemall was jailed for possession of a bladed article while already serving a suspended sentence for GBH after an incident which saw him break another man's jaw.

Taunton Crown Court heard how on March 22, two police officers saw Jemall walk behind their parked car in Bridgwater at 3.30am.

When they approached him, he dropped an object into a nearby garden and ran away.

Prosecuting, Katie Churchers told the court how officers found the object was a steak knife with a 10cm serrated blade.

At the time, Jemall, 22, of Sydenham Road, Bridgwater, was the subject of the suspended sentence for causing GBH in July 2015.

Defending Rixon, Patrick Mason said the case has a complex and fragile background, with Rixon “suffering a campaign of racist bullying”.

He said: “This man is the victim of racial taunting and has had a dreadful time. In the incident of his GBH offence, he was taunted by the complainant brothers with racist remarks and mentions of his sister.

“He is in a fragile state and will be vulnerable in a prison setting. He was in possession of the blade in the hours that his curfew allowed him to be out because he is terrified of being attacked and bullied. He behaved stupidly but because he is vulnerable.”

Yeovil Express:
Jemall Rixon with mum Nicola outside Taunton Crown Court

The court also heard how the Rixon family has received hateful abuse online, have had their home windows smashed and their cars damaged.

Jemall was sentenced to 17 months' imprisonment and will serve eight months in custody and the remainder on licence.

Sentencing, Recorder Edward Burgess said: “You breached your suspended sentence order. You had a blade in a public place and you threw the opportunity you were given back at the court.”

As he was led away in court, Rixon’s mother Nicola shouted: 'I love you Jemall' from the public gallery.

Now, she is speaking out about the racially motivated hate campaign she and her family have suffered since moving to Bridgwater from Reading 15 years ago.

“It’s been hell,” said Nicola. “We’ve all been treated so badly, especially Jemall. There was an incident where my son was beaten up and I was also knocked to the floor.

“He was such a bright, ambitious boy but he’s now a shell of the person he once was.

"He has anxiety and mental health issues and has been attacked numerous times but is too scared to report it because of repercussions, even though he should have done.

"He’s had his head smashed into a wash basin at a night club, he was stabbed in Weston and taken to hospital – it’s all written down."

Nicola described other incidents of abuse the family has suffered. 

“It’s gang culture,” she said. “All he’s ever wanted to do is provide for me, his gran and his younger sister as there’s no father figure in his life.

"He gets bullied in the gym, he receives Snapchats of tormentors standing outside our home.

"As a mum I think he was seriously violated and he won’t tell me.

"His identity has always been an issue and he was terrorised. People have told me there’s criminals waiting for him in prison.

"They’ve taken everything for me with this sentence. I feel degraded in my own home."

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said sentencing is 'a matter for our independent judiciary, who take into account the full facts of each case'.