Nov 4, 2006

Pair cleared over Jelly Baby race attacks

Quotes from 'Metro'
"The Crown Prosecution Service defended its actions today after two London Underground workers were cleared of racial harassment following allegations that they taunted a colleague over black Jelly Babies.

A jury found Victor Cooney, 47, and Carlos Rozza, 44, not guilty after an eight-day trial at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court.

It was alleged that the two men teased Daniel Jean Marie, who is black, by discussing black Jelly Babies and biting the heads off the sweets.

But the pair were cleared after just one hour of deliberation by the jury.

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said today: "This was an allegation of serious racial abuse and we have to take such allegations seriously.

"We believe there was a clear case to answer and the case did run its full course. We respect the jury's decision."

The spokesman said that the CPS were not able to provide costs on individual cases.
Estimates are for around £250,000

"If the Crown Prosecution Service had reviewed this case properly at the initial stages then this case would never have been brought before the Crown Court."

Conservative MP Mike Penning said the trial was a waste of money and police time.

He said: "We are desperate for police on our streets. But if taxpayers' cash is wasted on ridiculous cases like this, how can we afford it?" The two men were cleared on Wednesday at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court.

A spokeswoman for Transport for London (TfL) said today: "All allegations of harassment and racist behaviour are investigated. Whether or not to prosecute is a decision for the CPS.""
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