London

John Keogh: Man told woman she would be 'gone' after Brexit

John Keogh Image copyright PA Media
Image caption John Keogh was waiting for £200 worth of winnings at a south London betting shop when he made the remark

A man told a black betting shop employee "when Brexit comes you will be gone" after he became impatient when collecting winnings, a court heard.

John Keogh, 74, made the comment to Anneka Davis while waiting for a £200 win to be handed over at Coral in Peckham, south London, on 30 August.

Keogh, of Linsey Street, Bermondsey, then swore as he left the shop.

He admitted one count of racial aggravated public disorder at Croydon Magistrates' Court and was fined £600.

Keogh was also handed a 12-month community order and ordered to pay £350 costs and £250 compensation to his victim.

Prosecutor Jacqui Hughes told the court Keogh "became impatient and when he was given the money, he told her, 'when Brexit comes you will be gone'.

"She asked him what he meant by that and asked him to leave."

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption John Keogh was also banned from the Coral bookmakers for a year

He then admitted swearing and using a racial term as he left the shop. Ms Davis had five days off work because of stress.

She told the court: "Due to the climate and everything that is going on with Brexit, I felt that I was questioning myself and whether I belonged.

"I was born in this country and I have lived here all my life. I can't help that I was born black."

Tariq Al-Mallak, defending, said there was "no explanation that could justify that behaviour", adding he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder following a car accident.

Ian Johnson, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said "with no provocation John Keogh unleashed a torrent of racist abuse".

"Shop workers should be entitled to go about their work without facing racial abuse such as this, and we hope this conviction can bring the victim, as well as her colleagues, some confidence that justice has been served."

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites