The defendant appealed his conviction for racially aggravated abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear or to provoke violence. He was driving his motorised scooter and came across three Spanish women. In the course of an altercation he called them ‘bloody foreigners’ and told them to get back to their own country.
Held: His appeal failed: ‘Hostility demonstrated to foreigners because they are foreign can be just as objectionable as hostility based on a more limited racial characteristic. All who are black form a racial group, defined by reference to colour, within section 28(4), as do all who are white. This demonstrates the width of the concept of racial group in this context. It is no great extension of the concept to embrace within a single racial group all who are foreign. ‘ However: ‘The very width of the meaning of racial group for the purposes of section 28(4) gives rise to a danger that charges of aggravated offences may be brought where vulgar abuse has included racial epithets that did not, when all the relevant circumstances are considered, indicate hostility to the race in question. Section 28 is designed to address racist behaviour and prosecutors should not bring charges based on its provisions unless satisfied that the facts truly suggest that the offence charged was aggravated by racism. ‘
Rafferty J, Mackay J
 EWCA Crim 2863, Times 22-Nov-2005
Crime and Disorder Act 1998 31(1)(a), Public Order Act 1986 4
England and Wales
Cited – Regina v White CACD 14-Feb-2001
The court asked whether calling a woman an ‘African bitch’ was capable in law of demonstrating hostility towards the complainant, who came from Sierra Leone, as being a member of a racial group.
Held: The meaning of ‘racial group’ was not so . .
Applied – Attorney General’s Reference (No 4 of 2004) CACD 22-Apr-2005
The defendant was accused of having racially abused the complainant by referring to him as an ‘immigrant doctor’ before the assault. The trial judge had held that the word ‘immigrant’ was so wide in its possible application as not to be capable of . .
Cited – Director of Public Prosecutions v M (A Minor) Admn 25-May-2004
There was an argument over payment for food with the Turkish chef of a takeaway kebab shop during the course of which the defendant used the words ‘bloody foreigners’ and pushed the shop window causing it to crack. The justices doubted whether the . .
Cited – Ealing London Borough Council v Race Relations Board HL 16-Dec-1971
The council operated a housing policy which required applicants for housing tbe British nationals. Mr Zesko, a Polish national, complained that this was race discrimination.
Held: The House declined to interpret ‘national origins’ in the list . .
Appeal from – Rogers, Regina v HL 28-Feb-2007
The House was asked whether the use of the phrases ‘bloody foreigners’ and ‘get back to your own country’ counted to make a disturbance created by the defendant a racially aggravated crime.
Held: (Baroness Hale of Richmond) ‘The mischiefs . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 25 January 2021; Ref: scu.234701