Gay couple sent anonymous letter before their village wedding warning them to ‘get married elsewhere’

Yahoo News UK
Ashley Jenkins, left, and Callum Hodge on their wedding day (Picture: SWNS)
Ashley Jenkins, left, and Callum Hodge on their wedding day (Picture: SWNS)

A gay couple about to get married were sent an anonymous letter warning them to have their village wedding somewhere else.

Police say they are investigating after the homophobic letter was posted in the village of Norton Malreward, Somerset, ahead of the wedding of Callum Hodge and Ashley Jenkins.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

Four months before their wedding reception at Mr Hodge’s home, his mother, Janie, a postwoman, received the letter.

The couple planned to have a reception at the family’s private barn conversion following a ceremony in nearby Bristol.

The anonymous note was dropped through the letterbox of his parents’ home in the village, which has a population of just 246 people.

Ashley Jenkins, left, and Callum Hodge had their wedding reception at Mr Hodge's family's barn conversion (Picture: SWNS)
Ashley Jenkins, left, and Callum Hodge had their wedding reception at Mr Hodge's family's barn conversion (Picture: SWNS)

The homophobic letter claimed it was the “consensus of the village” that the reception should be held elsewhere.

The author of the letter wrote that Mr Hodge “should be ashamed of himself for putting his grandparents through this”.

It said he would no longer “be welcome in heaven” and said his mother needed to lead him down a “new path”.

Mother-of-four Janie, 59, reported the letter to Avon and Somerset Police on the same day it arrived at her house.

But she didn’t tell her son about it until after his wedding in July.

“I was absolutely gobsmacked and just devastated to read it”, she said.

“It was addressed to me and said it was the consensus of the village that if the wedding was going to happen then it should do so far, far away from the village.

“I didn’t want to speak to anyone or acknowledge anyone in the village because I thought everyone was out to get us.

Read more

Driver fumes at 'unacceptable' council worker who glued parking notice to her windscreen

Conservatives to stand against John Bercow at next election in bid to oust speaker

New ‘Beast from the East’ could cause one of the coldest winters in three decades

“It is vile. It made me feel completely unwelcome in the village. The letter is so cruel and it made me very upset.

“I was so worried something would happen on the wedding day, like a protest or something. This person tried to ruin our day and it is so hateful.”

The sending of the letter is being treated as a potential hate crime and police are investigating.

Janie told her son about the letter a week after the “wonderful” wedding day.

The couple were married at a ceremony in Bristol (Picture: SWNS)
The couple were married at a ceremony in Bristol (Picture: SWNS)

Mr Hodge, a dog walker, who lives with Mr Jenkins, 27, a dressage rider, in Evenlode, Gloucestershire, said: “I found it really upsetting. I lived in that village for 29 years.

“It is evil. We are free to do whatever we want on our private land. It’s a homophobic attack.

“I feel pity for that person. Why do they feel as though they have a right to do that, to try to ruin our day. I was more angry at how it made my mum feel.

“She was made to feel completely unwelcome in the community. She felt like an outcast.

“To think that we probably have met that person makes me sad. They are pathetic and made up lies to attack us.

Mr Hodge, left, said the person who wrote the letter was "pathetic" (Picture: SWNS)
Mr Hodge, left, said the person who wrote the letter was "pathetic" (Picture: SWNS)

“But it didn’t spoil anything. We had the most amazing day and the room was filled with so much love.”

The couple married on July 13, which was also Bristol Gay Pride day.

Mr Hodge took to Facebook to vent his frustration at the letter, which had been typed on a computer and posted through his parents’ front door.

He said: “We had an amazing day and to say we are now husband and husband means so much to us.

“It felt amazing to get married. We love each other but are like best friends too.

“After that so many people came to the house or stopped us in the street to say it had nothing to do with them.

“The amount of support we received showed it wasn’t the village that felt like it as a whole.

“It is just some bigoted individual.”

A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said: “We have been advised of a letter which we were treating as a potential hate mail.”

---Watch the latest videos from Yahoo UK---

What to Read Next