A Hornchurch tree surgeon racially abused a woman during a payment dispute, a court heard. 

Mathew McGrory was at a job in Eltham, south-east London, when he got into a disagreement with the client about the remaining £1,000 of the agreed payment. 

During a vile rant he called the woman a “f***ing mongrel” and a “dirty bald-headed lesbian”. 

McGrory, 31, of Kempton Avenue, admitted racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress and was given a suspended sentence at Woolwich Crown Court on Friday (May 17). 

Romford Recorder: Tree surgeon Mathew McGrory pictured leaving Woolwich Crown CourtTree surgeon Mathew McGrory pictured leaving Woolwich Crown Court (Image: NQ)

‘Shove the money up your...’ 

Prosecutor Robert Evans told the court that on June 15, 2022, McGrory was working at an address in Eltham when he asked the client when he would receive the outstanding £1,000 of the £1,700 pre-arranged fee. 

This sparked a disagreement about the work carried out by McGrory and he began verbally assaulting the woman, the court heard. 

McGrory’s foul rant was recorded by the client’s daughter. 

He then left the property but returned when the woman’s husband was home. 

“Her husband informed Mr McGrory that he was not happy with the abuse aimed towards his wife and that he would not be paying at this time,” Mr Evans said. 

This caused McGrory to shout more abuse including telling him: “Shove the money up your greasy s***hole you mongrel c***”. 

As McGrory left he told the client he would dump rubbish on their driveway and days later this threat was carried out, Mr Evans said. 

Previous convictions for racial offences 

When he was interviewed by police he admitted being abusive but denied using racist language. 

But he later pleaded guilty to two counts of intentional harassment, alarm or distress and one count of racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress. 

McGrory has 26 previous convictions including convictions for threatening behaviour in 2018 and 2023, a conviction for racially aggravated common assault in 2020, and he is currently serving a suspended sentence for burglary. 

The court heard from a probation worker who said McGrory had expressed remorse which was believed to be genuine. 

Judge Steven Kovats KC gave McGrory a five-month custodial sentence, suspended for two years. 

“Imprisonment would risk him losing his employment which would be a loss to him and his family,” Judge Kovats said. 

He ordered McGrory to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.