PC Kevin Hughes and PC David Hair have been cleared of racial harassment charges at Westminster Magistrates Court.
PC Hughes, from Brentwood, Essex, admitted to referring to three black men as “black monkeys” but claimed that he was merely having a discussion about evolution.
And PC David Hair, of Epping, Essex, who was on trial because of comments made to a black colleague suggesting that she would be going home to “cook bananas” also admitted to making the comment but claimed that he had not made the comment based on her race. He also told the court that he now knew that the “bananas” he was apparently talking of is actually called “plantain.”
Judge Howard Riddle said that whilst PC Hughes and PC Hair’s comments were offensive it was not a criminal offence and continued to say:
Freedom of speech includes the freedom to be offensive.
And suggested that as the officers did not intend for their words to be threatening, abusive or insulting, they had committed no crime.
Both officers who were in tears when the verdict was given are still currently suspended.
So that’s that then.