Man appeals against fine after dressing up as black and white minstrel
A 62-year-old who dressed up as a black and white minstrel during a work party has appeared in court to appeal against a conviction for causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress.
Brian Davies was ordered to pay a total of £450 earlier this year after blacking up his face and performing a “racist” singing routine directed at a black colleague at their Christmas do.
On Friday the court heard maintenance engineer Davies had worked alongside victim Loretta Doyley at Ty Catrin, a facility run by mental healthcare provider the Priory Group in Cardiff, and had organised their Christmas do at Coopers Carvery in the city.
Cardiff Crown Court was played mobile phone footage of the incident taken on December 20 last year, showing Davies with his face blackened and wearing a boater hat, a white shirt and swinging around a cane while singing at Miss Doyley, who is initially seen laughing along with her colleagues.
But when the case was heard at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court in February Miss Doyley said the incident left her “humiliated”, and said she was receiving medication and had been off work since shortly after the incident.
She told the court: “All I want is for people to be aware this man has humiliated me in public and caused me distress.
“Because his behaviour caused me a lot of suffering.
“This is a direct racist attack on me.”
At the previous hearing Davies denied focusing on and making a beeline for Miss Doyley, and said he did not agree the Black and White Minstrel show “mocked” black people, saying: “I just thought it was a show with songs and dance.”
Asked if he now thought he was wrong to do the performance, Davies replied: “Maybe looking at it now but at the time I thought I was just dressing up as a black and white minstrel.”
But magistrates found him guilty of causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress, saying he had made a “concerted effort” to make sure Miss Doyley attended the event to abuse her.
Davies, from Caernarvon Gardens, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, was fined £120, and told to pay a £300 contribution to court costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
Judge David Wynn Morgan and Justices Robin Coombes and Sharon Winter will hear his appeal on Friday before making their decision on its outcome.