British First Party leader denies race hate charges

Kevin QuinnThe leader of the British First Party set up a stall with the Union flag and launched a tirade of offensive racist abuse, a court heard. Kevin Quinn, 44, was charged with a religiously aggravated public order offence, after police were called to the shopping precinct in St Andrews Road, South Oxhey, on December 1, 2007.

Witnesses told St Albans Crown Court how they were offended by the racist and foul language used by Quinn with the aid of a megaphone. The first of the prosecution witnesses, Valerie Gay, was on the way to work in Woolworths when she saw the demonstration with a man on a megaphone and people handing out leaflets.

Asked by Isabel Delamere, for the prosecution, what she noticed first, Mrs Gay said: “It was the bad language being used to be honest. He was going on about a young lass that went to Sudan and he was using F and B words saying it was unfair she should be executed for naming a Teddy Bear Mohamed.” She added: “He was saying it was unfair she went out there to teach those retards and for that she was being executed.”

Mrs Gay said Quinn “definitely” used the word retard as it hit hard because she has a family member that is disabled. “He said we should execute the f****** Bs in this country and send them back home and before much longer it won’t be our country. I was shocked. I couldn’t understand why people have to be so racist. I believe in letting people lead their own lives,” she said.

The owner of an electrical store in the precinct, Ken Shah, who fled Uganda 30 years ago, heard a man shouting that Tony Blair should be called Tony Mohamed, the court heard. Mr Shah said: “They were shouting about Tony Blair should be Tony Mohamed because of all the immigrants coming in, and what is wrong with this country and about immigration and schools full of immigrant children.”

Quinn of Ousland Road, Queens Park, Bedford, denies intending to cause harassment, alarm or distress and using insulting words or behaviour, motivated by hostility towards members of a religious group.

The trial continues.

Watford Observer, 3 March 2009

You’ll note, by the way, that contrary to the Watford Observer headline Quinn has in fact been charged with religiously aggravated harassment and not with incitement to racial hatred – a much more serious offence which carries a sentence of up to seven years in prison – as he undoubtedly would have been if his abuse had been directed against the Jewish rather than the Muslim community. The reason is that Muslims are legally defined as a multi-ethnic faith group and so, unlike Jews or Sikhs, are not covered by the racial hatred law.

Nor is Quinn being charged with incitement to religious hatred. The reason is that the religious hatred bill was sabotaged by the “Lester amendment” which rendered the Racial and Religious Hatred Act almost completely useless when it comes to prosecuting far-right racists like Quinn who direct their hatred against the Muslim community.