Motorist prosecuted after calling traffic warden ‘English’

The Telegraph reports (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/12191620/Motorist-prosecuted-for-calling-traffic-warden-English.html) that Mr Mohammed Akhlaghi swore at traffic warden Robert St Paul by telling him he was “English” during an argument over a parking fine.

Humberside Police charged Akhlaghi, 35, with being racist during the incident which also saw him push Mr St Paul in the back. This happened in Hull city centre on August 6 last year when Akhlaghi, who is from Iran, reacted angrily at being handed a ticket.

He pleaded guilty at Hull Magistrates Court to racially aggravated assault by beating. In his defence Akhlaghi, of Hull, claimed he had been the victim of racial abuse. He said he has been subjected to abuse over the last seven years he has lived in the UK. District Judge Frederick Rutherford rejected his claims and ruled Akhlaghi had been racist towards the traffic warden while he was carrying out his duties. He was sentenced to 100 hours of unpaid community work and ordered to pay £85 costs and a victim surcharge of £60.

It follows two incidents where a Welsh man was taken to court for calling his girlfriend “English” and an English woman for calling her neighbour “Australian”. In 2014 Lee Woodmass, from Wales, and English-born girlfriend Celia Mays had an argument over money before he was heard calling her “English”. He was cleared of racially aggravated common assault by a jury at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court. Czech–born Petra Mills was brought before the court in 2012 for calling her New Zealand neighbour a “stupid fat Australian”. The incident in Macclesfield, Cheshire, saw her arrested for racially aggravated public disorder. But on appeal Chester Crown Court overturned the charge after ruling that use of the word “Australian” could not be considered racist.

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