Woman found guilty of racially aggravated harassment after anti-German gestures in Norwich pub

Philip Hume, who runs The Perseverance pub with partner Shannon Keeble, was the victim of racist abuse after refusing to serve any more alcohol to Daphne Douglas.
Photo by Simon Finlay. Philip Hume, who runs The Perseverance pub with partner Shannon Keeble, was the victim of racist abuse after refusing to serve any more alcohol to Daphne Douglas. Photo by Simon Finlay.

David Bale david.bale2@archant.co.uk
Thursday, July 10, 2014
9:25 AM

A drunken woman marched up and down the bar at a Norwich pub with her arm raised in a Hitler salute, and with her hand under her nose, in an anti-German gesture, a court heard.

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Philip Hume, who runs The Perseverance pub with partner Shannon Keeble, was the victim of racist abuse after refusing to serve any more alcohol to Daphne Douglas.
Photo by Simon Finlay.Philip Hume, who runs The Perseverance pub with partner Shannon Keeble, was the victim of racist abuse after refusing to serve any more alcohol to Daphne Douglas. Photo by Simon Finlay.

Daphne Douglas, 46, from Wellington Green, Norwich, was found guilty of racially aggravated harassment after a trial at Norwich magistrates’ court yesterday. The court heard that Douglas had been drinking at the Perseverance pub in Adelaide Street at about 10pm on March 22.

Prosecutor Jennifer Brenton said Douglas had been refused another drink by landlord Philip Hume, because she was intoxicated. She then accused him of being a racist, as she had a Spanish background, after spending many years in Tenerife, and claimed to have been speaking the language in the pub.

Mr Hume, who was born in Germany with the surname Kompert and came to England aged five, later adopting his stepfather’s surname, said he could not be racist because he was a German. Douglas then proceeded to make anti-German remarks to him before marching across the pub several times with her right arm raised in a Hitler salute, the court heard.

Mr Hume told the court: “I felt quite upset. I used to get bullied at school for being German, but you don’t expect that when you grow up, especially from an adult.”

Mr Hume’s partner and joint landlord of the Perseverance pub, Shannon Keeble, said Douglas had threatened her, and had also put a hand under her nose as she marched with her arm raised. She said: “She was walking up and down with her hand under her nose and her arm up in the air. I knew she was being racist towards my partner.”

Douglas, who is on employment and support allowance (ESA), had denied two charges of using threatening words or behaviour and racially aggravated harassment. The court heard she claimed she raised her arm as she was talking about the second coming of Christ to customers in the pub.

Douglas said in court: “I just put my hand in the air as I was telling people that the second coming of Jesus was on its way this year. And you would put your right hand up to God.”

She will be sentenced on Friday, July 18.

Magistrates said they were looking at handing her a community order with unpaid work, plus excluding her from the pub.

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