Ex-EastEnders actress Katie Jarvis shouted 'black lives don't matter'

Published
Image caption,
Katie Jarvis played Hayley Slater in EastEnders between 2018 and 2019

A former EastEnders actress who shouted "black lives don't matter" outside a fish and chip restaurant has been sentenced to a community order.

Katie Jarvis, who played Hayley Slater from 2018 to 2019, was arrested in Southend-on-Sea, Essex in July 2020.

Basildon Crown Court heard the 30-year-old got into a dispute with a group of women and later spat towards a bouncer.

Jarvis, of Rainham in east London, admitted racially aggravated harassment and common assault on Tuesday.

Cyrus Shroff, prosecuting, said tensions flared over seating outside the restaurant, at about 19:30 BST on 31 July.

'Disgusted and angry'

Someone tried to take an empty seat, which was at a table where Michelle Antonio, who is black, was sitting with two others of her group of four people.

Ms Antonio said the chair was being used, then saw the defendant and told her that she could not take the seat as it was needed, the court heard.

Image source, Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Image caption,
Jarvis appeared at Basildon Crown Court on Tuesday, when she admitted the charges

Mr Shroff said differing accounts have been provided over what happened next, with Jarvis claiming Ms Antonio was "aggressive", which Ms Antonio denies.

Mr Shroff said Jarvis walked off, shouting "black lives don't matter anyway", an insult which included an expletive, and "I'm a celebrity".

He said it "appears a fight broke out between the parties".

Mr Shroff said Ms Antonio stated Jarvis's comments made her "feel disgusted and angry", and that she "can't believe in 2020 these things are still being said".

Later that evening, Jarvis was denied entry to the Hope Hotel, and was asked to leave when she returned an hour later.

She shouted abuse at a doorman, and spat towards him, the court heard.

'Sacked from job'

The doorman contacted police and Jarvis was arrested at about 23:00 that night.

Patrick Harte, mitigating, said Jarvis was sorry and she "maintains she didn't physically assault anyone that day".

He said she was "sorry to the people who heard her use the awful language on that day, and to Mr Groom the doorman, who was simply doing his job".

Mr Harte said Jarvis "drinks very rarely" and on the day in question "had been in London - she had a number of successful interviews for films".

"She was celebrating," he said.

During a sentencing hearing on Wednesday, Judge Samantha Leigh noted that Jarvis had no previous convictions as an adult and said that as she was in the "public eye you have been subjected to abuse on social media".

She sentenced Jarvis to a two-year community order, with 200 hours of unpaid work and a requirement to complete 60 days of specified activities.

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