Minstrel singer Brian Davies wins race case appeal

Brian Davies Image copyright Wales news service
Image caption Brian Davies dressed up as a black and white minstrel for a Christmas party

A man who dressed as a black and white minstrel and directed a "racist" song at a black colleague has had his racial harassment conviction quashed.

Magistrates ruled in February that Brian Davies caused the woman alarm, distress and offence at the Priory Group Christmas party.

Cardiff Crown Court threw out the conviction on Thursday.

Judge David Wynn Morgan "deplored" Mr Davies' actions but concluded his intention was not to cause upset.

He said the defendant was not "a man of profound, intelligence, wisdom or judgment", and his song and dance routine was a "grotesque lapse of taste".

'Naive and stupid'

The court had been shown footage from the party on 20 December at Cooper's Carvery, in which Mr Davies could be seen wearing black face paint, white paint around his eyes and mouth, and a straw boater hat.

He was swinging a cane while dancing and singing the song Mammy in the direction of Loretta Doyley.

Maintenance engineer Mr Davies previously denied knowing that The Black And White Minstrel Show - which his routine derived from - was today seen as "derogatory and demeaning to black people".

He had bought the outfit from a fancy dress party, which he said had shown him how to apply the make-up.

"I hired a hat off them. I wasn't even thinking, I know I'm naive, stupid and dumb," he said.

Mrs Doyley, who worked with Mr Davies, had told the court she had felt "humiliated and wanted the floor to open up and swallow me".

Judge Morgan concluded Mr Davis had not meant to cause upset or be abusive and the fact his behaviour had upset Mrs Doyley was not a basis for conviction.

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