A man who dressed up as a black and white minstrel at a work party has been cleared of racially harassing a colleague.
Brian Davies, 62, was convicted of causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress and ordered to pay £450 in February.
But today, Cardiff Crown Court said they could not be sure his behaviour was intended to be abusive to chef Loretta Doyley, and overturned the ruling.
The colleagues had been at the Priory Group Christmas party at the Coopers Carvery in Cardiff, when Davies, a maintenance engineer, blackened his face and performed a dance routine.
Judge David Wynn Morgan said the court deplored Daviess actions, but concluded his intention was to entertain and not cause upset.
He said: The court is not persuaded on the basis of the criminal burden and standard of proof that the appellant intended his behaviour to be threatening or abusive towards the complainant and that he intended and demonstrated hostility, or was motivated by hostility, towards her based upon her membership of a racial group different to his.
The court does not, emphatically, condone the appellants behaviour. The court deplores it. The court found the experience of watching the recorded evidence excruciating.
He added that Davies was not a man of profound, intelligence, wisdom or judgement, stating that his performance was a grotesque lapse of taste.
Davies had previously denied all knowledge that The Black And White Minstrel Show was considered to be derogatory and demeaning to black people.
He said: It didnt even cross my mind. I didnt even think of anything racist. I just thought I was dressing up as something that used to be on telly on a Sunday night.
Footage from the evening showed him wearing black face paint, with white paint arRead More – Source