A woman has spoken out over horrific racist text messages sent to her by her former mother-in-law.
Joanne Gillies, 39, from Staffordshire, was in a relationship with Jacqueline Polanski’s, 57, son Ricki for 22 years, before they split and she fell pregnant with her daughter, Iliza, with her new partner.
But she went on to receive a string of vile messages from Jacqueline, calling Joanne a ‘s***’ for being with an Asian man, and saying he would pass her around his whole family because ‘it is what they did,’ and that three-year-old Iliza, who is mixed race, ‘should be burnt.’
After admitting her guilt, Polanski has been subject to a community order for 12 months and banned from contacting Joanne, who is desperately trying to rebuild her life.
Joanne Gillies, 39, pictured from Staffordshire, received a string of vile messages from Jacqueline Polanski, directed at her three-year-old mixed race daughter, Iliza, which Joanne shares with a Muslim Asian man
Joanne said her mother-in-law sent particularly violent messages directed at her four-year-old daughter Iliza, pictured
Jackie, pictured, pleaded guilty to sending by public communication an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing message
Joanne said: ‘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.’
She continued: ‘She sent me some horrific messages. I was actually scared of her, but I had to speak out, for my daughter’s sake. She is only three-years-old and she has no voice.
Jackie threatened to go to police to tell them Joanne’s partner smuggled drugs and called him a paedophile
Meanwhile in other abusive messages, Jackie said Joanne would be ‘passed around’ her new partner’s family and called Iftikhar a ‘vermin race’
‘I want to show her that racist abuse is not OK and it’s always important to stand against it.’
Joanne met her former partner, Ricky, at school. The pair were childhood sweethearts and went on to have a family together.
She also had a close relationship with Ricky’s mother, Jackie, 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.
Joanne met her former partner, Ricky, at school and the two were childhood sweethearts before they went on to have a family together
As part of the community order, Polanski, pictured, must complete a rehabilitation activity requirement for 30 days and is subject to a 12-month restraining order, which prevents her having any contact with her victim or going within 50 metres of her home
‘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.’
But in 2014, Ricky and Joanne split and late in 2015, she met a new partner, Iftikhar Khan.
Joanne says: ‘When Ricky heard I’d moved on, he was furious. I fell pregnant and Jackie got involved and she was really unpleasant.
Joanne met her new partner Iftikhar Khan in 2016 and went on to welcome her daughter, Iliza, in April 2016
‘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 heritage but Joanne said her former mother-in-law’s behaviour quickly became intolerable.
Joanne said: ‘It should have been such a happy time, but Jackie was vile. She sent messages saying I was smelly and I was a *** because I was with an Asian man.’
‘She said he would pass me round his whole family, because that was what they did.
The mother explained how the messages she received from Jackie left her feeling vulnerable before she decided to push back
‘She also said that me and my daughter should be burned. She called us “scum”.’
She continued: ‘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.’
Though Joanne and Iftikhar have since split, they remained good friends and he and his family were supportive throughout the court case.
Joanne said she wanted to give her daughter ‘ a voice’ and to show her that her racist behaviour was not ok
Polanski appeared at North Staffordshire Justice Centre in August this year and was handed a 12-month community order.
Polanski, of Spring Lodge Avenue, Blythe Bridge, pleaded guilty to sending by public communication an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing message.
As part of the community order, Polanski must complete a rehabilitation activity requirement for 30 days.
Joanne said she wanted to stand up to the vile abuse for her daughter who was ‘too young to speak for herself’
She was also made the subject of a 12-month restraining order, which prevents her 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.
Joanne 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.’