'Donny Klown' Richard Vallance banned from wearing mask in public by court

Richard Vallance appeared before Doncaster Magistrates.
Richard Vallance appeared before Doncaster Magistrates.

A man known as the ‘Donny Klown’ who confronted women while wearing a Halloween mask has been told not to wear it again.

Richard Stephen Vallance, aged 35, of Argyll Avenue, Intake, was ordered not to wear the mask in public for two years, as part of a community behaviour order.

Vallance was previously convicted of two public order offences relating to causing distress, harassment or alarm, and appeared at Doncaster Magistrates Court this morning for sentencing.

The court heard that on April 22 this year, Vallance approached two hospital workers, Rebecca Pettigrew and Sonica Kaur as they were walking along Armthorpe Road at around 6.50pm.

Prosecutor David Shepherd said that Vallance put his arms out towards both women and blocked their paths, leading them to fear they were going to be attacked, but they had each managed to get away.

In a victim impact statement, Rebecca Pettigrew said: “This incident has left me feeling frightened and vulnerable. I had walked this way to work for four years, but now I feel two frightened to walk on this road alone.”

Sonica Kaur said: “This has left me feeling frightened and scared. I think about what might have happened if we were not in a public place, the consequences might not have been the same.”

She added that she was now too scared to go out alone, even during the day.

Tim Williamson, defending, said Vallance had not meant to alarm or upset the women, and was trying to raise awareness of facial disfigurement.

As part of the community behaviour order, Deputy District Judge Philip Houlden also told Vallance that he could not paint his face to look like a clown when he was in a public place.

He was also banned from uploading any picture intending to, or likely to, promote the Donny Klown on any website on social media.

He was also ordered not to take part in any discussions promoting this persona.

Vallance was handed a 16 week prison sentence for the offences, which was suspended for 12 months.

He was ordered to pay each of his victims £200 compensation, and £200 costs and told he must complete a rehabilitation requirement lasting 25 days.

After being sentenced Vallance said: “After hearing the impact this had I was ashamed by what I had done. It was seen as a prank, but after hearing the affect of my inexcusable actions I want to apologise.”