A woman who was convicted of racism after calling her New Zealand neighbour a “fat Australian” has had her conviction overturned.
Czech-born Petra Mills, 31, was found guilty of racially aggravated public disorder after a rant at her New Zealand-born neighbour in Macclesfield, south of Manchester, England last year.
But according to the Manchester Evening News, Ms Mills has had her conviction quashed by Chester Crown Court.
Police witnessed Mills call her neighbour Chelsea O’Reilly a “fat Australian bitch”, during a dispute in September.
Ms O’Reilly, who has dual British and New Zealand citizenship, said at the time: “She called me a stupid, fat Australian bitch. Because of my accent there can be some confusion over my nationality. She knew I was from New Zealand.
“She was trying to be offensive. I was really insulted. She said she would kill my dog. Bizarrely she then blew raspberries at me like a child.”
The incident happened when Ms O’Reilly was giving a statement to police about a domestic incident between Ms Mills and Ms Mills’ husband.
Two police constables told the court they had heard Ms Mills use the word “Australian” during her drunken rant.
At Macclesfield magistrates’ court, Ms Mills agreed she had shouted but denied she was being racist.
“I did not use the word ‘Australian’. I used to live with an Australian person. She was very nice.”
But chairman of the bench Brian Donohue said: “You were in an emotional and inebriated state. The word ‘Australian’ was used. It was racially aggravated and the main reason it was used was in hostility.”
But Chester Crown Court overturned the public disorder charge after ruling the use of the word “Australian” could not be considered racist.
Ms Mills, a freelance interpreter, has reportedly moved to north Wales to escape the embarrassment caused by her conviction.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, she said the charge should never have been brought before the court.
“I don’t feel like this is a victory,” she said.
“The stress and the embarrassment this has caused me is something I don’t think I will ever forget.”
Fairfax NZ News
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.