A BNP candidate was fined after he admitted racially abusing his German-born next door neighbour in a row over a Union Jack flag. Roy Kevin West, 44, directed a torrent of foul-mouthed abuse at Bernd Kugow during the dispute at his home in Glenmore Grove, Dukinfield.
The court heard West, who had three St George's flags and a Cornish flag in his back garden, attempted to put up a Union Jack by attaching it to Mr Kugow's shed. And when Mr Kugow objected, West flew into a rage, calling his neighbour a 'Kraut *******' and telling him to '**** off back to Krautland' before adding 'kill some more Jews'. West also told his neighbour to 'remember Dunkirk' during the 10-minute tirade.
Unemployed West originally pleaded not guilty to racial abuse but shortly before he was due to take the witness stand for his trial at Tameside Magistrates' Court, he dramatically changed his mind and admitted the charge. His solicitor said West felt under pressure to deny the charge because of his position in the party.
West stood as a BNP candidate in last May's local elections in Dukinfield, polling 734 votes and finishing in second place.
After his arrest last October, the BNP leadership complained that he was the victim of a 'malicious prosecution' and tried to organise a demonstration to protest against the arrest. But the protest was called off when West said he wanted the case to remain a private matter.
The court heard that the dispute with Mr Kugow broke out in August as West was putting flags up in his garden. Mr Kugow, 47, who lives with his British-born partner Susan Holt, said he warned his neighbour that he would remove any flags West put on his shed.
Mr Kugow, a personal assistant, said: "He said if I tried to come in his garden he will kill me. He then tried to attach it to the side of his house and it wouldn't stay up and he lost his cool - then an incredible torrent of the most vile abuse I've ever heard came my way. It made me feel terrible. Nobody should be allowed to get away with something like that in a civilised society."
Susan Holt was sitting on the patio out of sight of West when the incident happened. She said: "I was gobsmacked. I was shocked because you don't expect your neighbour to come out with those sorts of comments. Normal people don't do that and I've never experienced it before and never want to again."
The couple said West's flags were never an issue and the problem only arose when he wanted to attach the new one to their shed. Mr Kugow said his neighbour later apologised over the incident and came to his house with a box of chocolates and a handwritten letter.
He said West sat crying in his kitchen as he admitted his guilt. Kevin Nicholas, defending West, said his client deeply regretted his behaviour and found it hard to face up to his actions which happened at a time when he was under stress and not sleeping very well. Mr Nicholas said: "He felt under pressure because of his position in the BNP party and he has let the party down. He has also let himself down."
Judge Berg told West: "Your behaviour for whatever reason was wholly unacceptable, vile, offensive and distasteful. Behaviour which civilised society cannot be expected to tolerate."
West was fined £125 and ordered to pay £200 costs and a £15 victim's surcharge. He was also ordered to pay Mr Kugow £50 compensation. Speaking after the case, Mr Kugow said he was 'glad it was all over' but declined to comment further.
Manchester Evening News