A teenage BNP supporter who drove a classmate to the brink of suicide has been convicted of racial harassment in a landmark legal case
The youth, 15, subjected his female victim to months of racist abuse, on one occasion telling her: 'Go back to your own country, you don't belong here.'
A court heard the 14-year-old girl - who had already moved schools once to avoid racist abuse - was also called 'wog, coon, nigger, gorilla and golliwog' by her tormentor. He taunted her with chants of 'white, white, white is right, kick them out, fight, fight, fight' - taken from a film about football hooliganism.
But the girl feared reporting the abuse would make him become violent and instead suffered in silence, the court was told. The victim, who has mixed white English and black African heritage, endured the abuse for four months before she attempted suicide in January this year.
A source close to the case said the teenager, who, like his victim, cannot be named for legal reasons, was a BNP supporter who had actively tried to enlist other youths. Raymond Wildsmith, prosecuting, told Lincoln Youth Court the insults happened 'again and again and again' - anything up to four times a week. But the girl only revealed her torment after she tried to kill herself. She took a mixture of stress pills and painkillers in January before writing a note telling her family that she did not want a 'sad funeral'.
Giving evidence by video link, the girl told a police officer the abuse made her 'want to die'. She added: 'I wanted to die because of everything that was happening at school. I thought, "Do I want to do this?" And then I thought, "Yes, I don't want to be here".
Last night, her mother described her daughter's tormentor as 'evil'. She said: 'He seemed to mimic everything his father did and became a ringleader of a violent set of boys at the school.' She told how her daughter left a suicide note requesting that nobody wore black at her funeral. She said: 'My world fell apart. I had no idea that there was anything wrong with her. At home she put on a brave face and seemed totally normal.'
The teenager was hospitalised and then sectioned in a psychiatric hospital for several weeks. She has been out of school virtually ever since but is due to start at a new school in a different part of the country in September. The mother reported the girl's ordeal to the school and police, but said she had a 'long hard fight to get justice for my daughter'.
She added: 'When I first informed the school, they as good as called me a liar. I then had a long battle convincing the police to take this seriously. They were desperately slow and interviewed 25 people before they seemed to appreciate the seriousness of it.' The court was told that the girl had only been in the Lincoln area for a year before the abuse started.
Her 15-year-old tormentor, who denied the charge, was convicted of racially aggravated harassment. He will be sentenced on August 13. A second 15-year-old was cleared of the same charge.
The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed it was the first successful prosecution of a schoolchild for racial abuse in the UK. Jaswant Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Lincolnshire said: 'We would like to thank the victim for her courage in coming forward and strongly encourage other young people in the same situation to report to the police when they have been targets of campaign of racial bullying.'