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Man fined £120 over anti-Jewish remarks
5:10pm Wednesday 9th January 2013 in News
A man who made anti-Semitic remarks to a Jewish MP was fined £120 today.
Philip Hayes told Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger "I f****** hate Jewish people", Liverpool Magistrates' Court heard.
Hayes, 53, a music promoter, pleaded guilty to a racially-aggravated public order offence. Amanda Haycock, prosecuting, said the incident happened at the Liverpool Music Awards on November 17 last year.
Ms Berger was talking to Simon Glinn, of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, when they were joined by Hayes and embarked on a conversation about the situation in Gaza.
"During this conversation, Mr Hayes made a number of remarks saying he did not like Jewish people," Ms Haycock said.
"He was aware (Ms Berger) is Jewish."
The prosecutor said Hayes, who founded The Picket music venue in Liverpool, claimed "all Jewish people had money" and referred to a prominent Liverpool solicitor as a "f****** Jewish t***".
Ms Haycock said: "He referred to the Prime Minister of Israel as 'your Prime Minister', to which she said, 'David Cameron is my Prime Minister,'.
"Mr Hayes' comments upset Ms Berger."
Following the awards ceremony, Ms Berger and Mr Glinn were walking away from the venue when they were again joined by Hayes who told the MP: "I f****** hate Jewish people."
"Ms Berger was upset and felt that the comment was directed at her as she was the only Jewish person in the group," Ms Haycock said.
"She got into a taxi and went home."
The next day Hayes sent a Facebook message to Ms Berger apologising for his behaviour, the court heard.
A third party reported the matter to police and he was arrested.
Hayes' solicitor George White said the defendant was drunk that night having consumed alcohol for the first time in five years.
He said: "It started out as a discussion about Gaza. He has certain views about Palestine and Ms Berger has certain views about Israel.
"He was quite drunk and he was talking out of character when he said those words.
"Immediately when he woke up the next day he showed genuine remorse and regret and apologised to her."
Mr White said Hayes, of Mossley Hill, Liverpool, had no previous convictions and had played a leading role in a number of anti-fascist organisations and events in Liverpool.
Bench Chairman Lee McGaw told Hayes he had taken account of his early guilty plea and displays of remorse.
The defendant was fined £120 and ordered to pay £20 victim surcharge and £35 costs.
Outside court, Mr White said on behalf of Hayes: "I sincerely apologise for the hurt and offence my behaviour has caused Ms Berger.
"Prior to this offence, for over 30 years, I have always tried to fight racism in every form in my personal and professional life.
"I have tried to promote tolerance and celebration of all races and creeds.
"I do not believe the words I spoke that night reflect who I am, but I accept that I said them and caused offence by uttering them.
"I would like to thank my family and friends for the support they have shown me and I would like to think that support is due to the fact that they know this was a terrible act which I have accepted I committed, but that I am not a racist or an anti-Semite."