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Student who chanted 'we hate blacks' admits racial charge

media captionNottingham Trent University student admits racial harassment

A law student who described a chant of "we hate the blacks" as banter between friends has admitted racial harassment.

Rufaro Chisango filmed people shouting racist terms outside her room in a halls of residence at Nottingham Trent University on 5 March.

Joe Tivnan, who pleaded guilty at Nottingham Magistrates' Court, said the chanting was "mutual repartee" with "a mixed-race friend".

The 19-year-old was fined £200 and ordered to pay £500 compensation.

image copyrightPA
image captionTivnan, from The Parklands in Erdington, Birmingham, made an "unreserved apology to anyone who has been affected by my behaviour"

Ms Chisango was in her room when she heard "something similar to a football chant" outside, the court heard.

'Appalling and disgraceful'

Anna Pierrepont, prosecuting, said Ms Chisango felt the chants were aimed at her and was left feeling "very upset and very uncomfortable".

In a statement read to the court, the victim said: "The entire incident was overwhelming and offensive.

"Such appalling behaviour will not be tolerated."

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image captionMagistrates in Nottingham heard Tivnan was "truly sorry" for any distress caused

Tivnan, from The Parklands in Erdington, Birmingham, made an "unreserved apology to anyone who has been affected by my behaviour".

"It was just mutual repartee between me and a mixed-raced friend," he said.

"It was still unacceptable language and I am ashamed by my behaviour."

Defending Tivnan, Steve Ransell said the defendant's university place "will likely be lost", with his hopes of a career in law suffering "irreparable damage".

District Judge Leo Pyle said the victim "was too frightened to even leave her room" as a result of the chanting.

"These words were described by other students as shocking, disgusting, appalling and disgraceful," he said.

"It was entirely understandable that she felt what was being chanted was being aimed at her."

image captionThe court heard the victim was too scared to leave her room after the chanting

Co-accused Lauren Leigh, also 19, has pleaded not guilty to the same offence, and will face a trial in July.

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Related Topics

  • Racism
  • Erdington