Man appeals conviction for singing 'racist' song to black colleague while dressed as minstrel

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
Brian Davies ‘blacked up’ his face and performed a ‘racist’ song and dance routine at his work Christmas party (PA)

A man who was fined for dressing up as a black and white minstrel at a work party is appealing his conviction as he ‘didn’t know it was racist’.

Brian Davies, 62, was fined £450 earlier this year for racially harassing a black colleague.

Video footage showed him ‘blacking up’ his face and performing a ‘racist’ song and dance routine at his work Christmas party.

The maintenance engineer appeared in court on Friday to appeal against his conviction of causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress to head chef Loretta Doyley.

Mr Davies appealed charge of causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress (PA)

Mr Davies denied he knew the television show from which his routine was taken from was today seen as ‘derogatory and demeaning to black people’.

Footage of Mr Davies was shown to Cardiff Crown Court from the incident on December 20 last year at the city’s Cooper’s Carvery.

In the video, shot on mobile phone, Davies was seen wearing black face paint, white paint around his eyes and mouth, a straw boater hat, and swinging around a cane while dancing and singing the song Mammy in the direction of Mrs Doyle.

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Ms Doyley said of the incident: ‘I felt humiliated and wanted the floor to open up and swallow me.

‘I felt because everyone was laughing I went into shock and I felt myself laughing as well, not because it was funny, I just didn’t know how else to act.’

Prosecuting Davies, Suzanne Payne said: ‘You could see as you were dancing and singing around her she was upset by you.

‘You knew by dancing around singing that you were being abusive to her.

‘And you should’ve been aware it would be. Because it’s insulting and humiliating what you did. And that was your intention.’

Mr Davies was fined £450 earlier this year (PA)

Defending Mr Davies, Tom Roberts told the court it needed to be sure his client’s behaviour was ‘intentionally’ abusive towards Mrs Doyley.

He said: ‘It was clearly ill judged. He accepts he was ‘stupid and naive’.

‘But that does not equate to him using abusive behaviour towards Mrs Doyley. It is of course not politically correct behaviour.

‘At most this was an ill judged and disreputable incident. Did he display hostility? I would say he didn’t.”

Mr Davies’ appeal has been adjourned until next Thursday by Judge David Wynn Morgan and Justices Robin Coombes and Sharon Winter, when they will make their decision on the case outcome.