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Thursday, 8 September 2011

John Galliano found guilty of racist and antisemitic abuse

Fashion designer given suspended fine of €6,000 by Paris court

The British designer John Galliano has been given a suspended fine of €6,000 (£5,200) by a Paris court for racist and antisemitic rants at people in a Paris bar.

The former couturier was found guilty of "public insults" based on origin, religion, race or ethnicity after two incidents in February 2011 and last year.

In the February incident, a French couple having a beer outside La Perle bar in Paris's Marais district said he repeatedly insulted them with lines including "fucking ugly Jewish bitch" and "fucking Asian bastard". Geraldine Bloch, 35, said he first asked her to shut up, then criticised her clothes, hair, thighs, eyebrows and makeup. He made 30 anti-Jewish insults in the space of 45 minutes, she said. Another woman said he made similar insults to her in the same bar in October.

At Galliano's trial in June, the state prosecutor had requested judges fine Galliano saying that although he was not a "theoretician" of race hatred or antisemitism, this was "everyday antisemitism and racism" which she said was "pitiful and dreadful".

It is doubtful whether Galliano – who told his trial he couldn't remember the incident because of a "triple addiction" to alcohol, sleeping tablets and Valium – will ever be able to redeem himself at the top of the fashion world.

He has undergone treatment for his addiction. He appeared frail and weak at his trial in June but was not present on Thursday for the verdict.

Read more at The Guardian


A soldier who attacked a woman awaiting a sex change operation became the first person in Scotland to be convicted of transgender prejudice yesterday. Perth Sheriff Court heard that Terry Porter burst into the house where Chloe, formerly Calum, Dow was sleeping and hurled abuse at her. Porter, who pled guilty to breaching the peace by behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, admitted that his offence was aggravated by prejudice relating to Miss Dow's transgender identity. The 19-year-old will be disciplined by chiefs in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. Sheriff Michael Fletcher described the incident as "a nasty offence" and fined Porter £350 - £150 more than a breach of the peace fine, to mark the transgender prejudice. The court heard that Porter targeted Miss Dow - who is awaiting gender reassignment surgery - during a drunken night out to celebrate joining the army. After rushing into the home where she was sleeping, Porter - who was unknown to the transexual - elbowed her and subjected her to a tirade of foul-mouthed abuse. Fiscal depute Rebecca Kynaston told the court: "The complainer is transgender. She lives as a female, but was born a male. She goes by the name Chloe, having previously been Calum. She is awaiting gender reassignment surgery."

Miss Dow and a third party were staying at her friend Oliver Bond's home in Milnathort, Kinross, when Porter arrived in the early hours and began knocking loudly on the door. "Miss Dow was sleeping in the bedroom. The others were sleeping on the sofas in the living room. At 3:50am all were woken by loud banging at the back door." Mrs Kynaston said that Porter was asking if Miss Dow was a boy or a girl. He threatened to drag Miss Dow out of bed and punch her while shouting abusive comments. Mrs Kynaston said that the police were called and when they arrived at the house they found Miss Dow in an "extremely distressed" state. Porter was arrested at home a few hours later and when he was questioned by the police. When he was asked about his view of transgender people, Porter replied: "It's their choice." Solicitor Peter O'Neill, defending, said that his client was "immature" and wanted to apologise to everyone involved in the case for the way he had behaved. "I am sure it comes as no surprise that he had had a lot to drink," Mr O'Neill said. "He had been training with the military and is now a serving soldier. He was with friends and was joining the regiment on the Monday following this incident. This was a bit of a send-off that evening and he had been drinking heavily. "He did not know Chloe Dow. She came out and a conversation was had. He has never met anyone who is transgender before. The conversation got to territory he was uncomfortable with and he behaved in a manner he describes as completely out of order.

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