Saturday, October 14, 2006

Don't mention the B word

I was annoyed to read a story in my newspaper on Thursday. It makes me wonder just how fragile some peoples' feelings really are...

One of Britain's first black female judges was racially abused by a legal messenger who had been on an all-day drinking session, a court was told yesterday.

City of London magistrates' court heard how the judge was driving past the Coach and Horses pub in Whitefriars Street, central London, on 23 December last year, when Death stepped in front of her car.

Michael Otuyalo, for the prosecution, said Mrs Briscoe heard Death call out through her half-open window: "You black cunt."

When Mrs Briscoe asked him to clarify what he had said, he replied: "You fucking wog." Mr Otuyalo added: "She informed him she was going to call the police, and he replied, 'Well, you called me a white cunt' - which she had not."

Other members of Death's group, which included his wife and his brother Christopher Death, were heard to shout "piss off" and "what's your problem?" Undeterred, Mrs Briscoe followed the group, who were trying to board a London taxi, until she informed the driver that she had been racially abused, said Mr Otuyalo.

Death tried to make a getaway by running off when he was refused by the taxi driver, but Mrs Briscoe caught up with him in a pub called The Alibi, after which the police arrived.

Richard Walduck, the chairman of the bench told Death as he sentenced him: "It was a very foolish thing to do.

"You don't need lectures on the dangers of alcohol. Be careful in the future."

He was sentenced to 100 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay Mrs Briscoe £100 compensation and costs of £200.

Mr Walduck said the compensation award "can no way reflect the damage done: it can only be regarded as a token".

... I have no place for racial abuse, discrimination or prejudice but this court case annoys me. People very often shout abuse in traffic, it is childish but humans very often release their frustrations with harsh words. If this guy had referred to the car driver as being fat, old, spotty, skinny, bald, a pram face or any other physical observation then this case would not have come to court. Oh no! he mentioned the B word, black! He could see that her skin colour was black, so what! She could have had white skin but her skin covered with acne and calling her spotty would not have brought him infront of a judge. In the heat of the moment people are going to call out the most obvious indentity character and low and behold she looked like a black woman and we all know what anatomy they have below the waist. Is it really that upsetting for people to see her as a black woman? People may call me names in the street but I am not bothered by what they call me, it is their choice. It does not bother me what physical characteristics they pick on to describe me, that is their choice. This name calling does no harm and this woman should be mature enough to ignore the comments and move on. How Richard Walduck can state
the compensation award "can no way reflect the damage done: it can only be regarded as a token" is simply beyond me. The sentence for this name calling of 100 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay Mrs Briscoe £100 compensation and costs of £200 is totally out of proportion to the alledged abuse. I think this woman should grow up, get a harder skin and live within the dynamics of urban life. Justice has not been done and I think this was a waste of Police and court time.
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