NF activist guilty of racial abuse

A 75-year-old National Front activist who hurled “highly offensive, ignorant and hurtful” racial abuse at a British woman of Greek/Cypriot origin was today warned he could face a suspended prison sentence.

A 75-year-old National Front activist who hurled “highly offensive, ignorant and hurtful” racial abuse at a British woman of Greek/Cypriot origin was today warned he could face a suspended prison sentence.

A jury at Norwich Crown Court took six-and-a-half hours to find Thomas Holmes guilty by a majority verdict after he had denied racially aggravated harassment.

The two-day trial had heard Holmes, of Reynolds Avenue, Caister, had delivered a National Front leaflet to the woman's home in Great Yarmouth in April while campaigning for election on to the borough council.

Helen Kikis came out of the house and asked him not to post the leaflets, to which he responded with swearing and racist remarks. He told her to “go home to Pakistan,” swore violently at her and made crude references.

Judge Daniel Worsley told the court: “This was highly offensive, ignorant, hurtful racial abuse and he must be punished, and must be seen to be punished.”

He added he would not impose an immediate prison sentence because of Holmes's age and previous good character.

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He said all options apart from that were open for sentencing next month including either a suspended prison sentence, a community or financial penalty or both.

Chief Supt Charles Hall, of Yarmouth Police, said: “The racist abuse given by Mr Holmes to this local person was completely unacceptable and wholly inappropriate. His conviction today underlines that such behaviour will and should not be tolerated.

“The constabulary works hard with other local groups and organisations to promote good race relations in Great Yarmouth. I would want the whole community to have confidence that the police will take a robust line with racist words and behaviour that threaten to destabilise local communities.

“This was not a case of peaceful canvassing but of racist abuse, and it was only right that the case was brought before the court.”