A UK mother-of-two has been charged with racially aggravated harassment and threatening behaviour after a trial at the Stockport Magistrate Court.
Gillian O’Brien, 40, was accused of racially abusing 42-year-old South African expat Terence “Taz” Oosthuizen, Daily Mail reports. Strangely, however, both O’Brien and Oosthuizen are white.
It appears that O’Brien mistook Oosthuizen for a Pakistani. She called him a “Paki” – a racial slur in England usually directed at Pakistani immigrants – and told him to go back to his own country.
“She has called me a Paki and a foreigner – I think it might be because of my accent, I am foreign,” he told the court.
This was reportedly a reaction to the noise that resulted from Oosthuizen building a wooden hutch for his children with a hand saw.
She also reportedly threatened to “slit his children’s throats” – although she denied this in court – and threw cricket stumps at Oosthuizen’s fence.
According to O’Brien, however, Oosthuizen cut her washing line, stole her son’s football, and responded to their altercation by calling her a “f**cking bitch” and a “benefit thief”.
“I did say to her that she needs to get a job to keep herself busy. But she replied that she doesn’t need to work because she is a kept woman,” Oosthuizen said.
The court also heard testimony from another neighbour and his wife, both of which backed the version of events told by the South African, who served in the SA military.
“I absolutely did not tell him to go back to his own country and I absolutely did not threaten to slit anybody’s throat,” O’Brien said in her defence. She also accused Oosthuizen and his wife of lying.
“He’s a liar and his wife is a liar. The other neighbour said that she doesn’t really know what was said, so she has got nothing to do with it really,” she said.
The court, it seems, believed Oosthuizen’s account. O’Brien was found guilty of threatening Oosthuizen, and his wife and daughter, and will be sentenced on March 22.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)