Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Passenger facing jail term over racist tirade on Tube

A woman filmed hurling racist abuse at passengers on a Central Line train in January has been found guilty and told she faces a lengthy jail term.

Secretary Jacqueline Woodhouse, 42, was filmed by businessman Galbang Singh Juttla – who was heading home after a family funeral – as she unleashed a torrent of expletive-laden abuse at a number of Asian passengers sitting around her on the train as she returned from an office party.

Westminster Magistrates Court heard she had consumed an “unknown” quantity of Champagne at the party to mark the retirement of a colleague.

A 7-minute clip of her tirade was uploaded onto YouTube by Juttla and has been viewed more than 200,000 times.

Police launched an investigation into the incident soon after the video was uploaded.

In the video, she is seen shouting about ‘foreign s***heads’, before enquiring repeatedly of fellow passengers: ‘Where do you come from?’

A Pakistani man sitting next to her begins to sing his national anthem as the ranting continues and Woodhouse is seen threatening to ‘punch him in the face’.

Turning her attention to Mr Juttla – sitting opposite her and filming the episode – Woodhouse asks: ‘Why don’t you tell me where you’re from?’.  Mr Juttla responds, ‘I am British’.

She then goes on to say: ‘I used to live in England and now I live in the United Nations.'

As Mr Juttla tells her to keep her mouth shut, informing her that she has had too much to drink, she becomes extremely agitated and starts screaming.

'It’s not your country anyway so what’s your problem?' she yells. 'It’s been overtaken by people like you.'
The court heard that Mr Juttla decided to film Woodhouse after she started berating an unidentified black female.

She then sat down between two men and began another barrage of abuse.

Prosecutor Claire Campbell told the court: 'She then leaned towards the gentleman sitting next to her and said ‘I will have you arrested because you do not live here’.

'The male pushed her away and she fell on to the adjacent seat.

'She stated: "I hope you are not claiming benefits and I hope you pay your taxes".

'Mr Juttla responded: "I pay more taxes than you, love".

'Mr Juttla pulled the emergency alarm fearing an escalation of events and to enable her to be removed from the train.'

Woodhouse told police she could not remember the rant but recognised it was her in the video.

The court was also told that Woodhouse was fined following a similar offence on the Docklands Light Railway in December 2008.

Woodhouse’s case is the latest in a series of similar incidents involving racial abuse that have been filmed and uploaded on to video sharing websites.

Emma West, who was filmed abusing passengers on a tram in Croydon last December, was charged with a racially aggravated public order offence and jailed.

Another video titled 'Welcome to London' showed a woman holding a pink rose on the London Underground as she abused passengers.

Woodhouse is set to be sentenced on May 29.

- Vijitha Alles

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