An Asian man was cleared today of racially abusing BNP leader Nick Griffin. Tauriq Khalid, 23, denied shouting "white bastards" at far-right demonstrators in his home town of Burnley, Lancashire, in November last year.
A jury of five women and seven men cleared Khalid of one count of using racially abusive threatening behaviour after deliberating for 45 minutes following a three-day trial at Preston Crown Court.
Tauriq Khalid, 23, told Preston Crown Court that he shouted derisory comments from his car window at far-right BNP demonstrators outside Burnley police station.
Mark Stuart, defending, asked Khalid: “Was that abuse you gave to them based on the fact they were white people?”
“No,” Khalid replied.
“Did you make any racist remarks?” asked Mr Stuart.
“None at all,” Khalid replied.
Khalid, from Burnley, Lancashire, denies one charge of using racially abusive threatening behaviour against Mr Griffin. Khalid admitted driving past Burnley police station, where the BNP leader was giving media interviews, two or three times.
He told the jury of five women and seven men that he had not known in advance about the BNP demonstration on November 19 last year. He said when he drove past the demonstrators: “I had my window down and just shouted ‘get out of Burnley’ then I put my window back up once I had said that.”
Khalid admitted shouting the remark more than once when questioned by his defence barrister. The second time he drove past, about 15 minutes later and accompanied by a friend, he admitted shouting: “Griffin, you fucking wanker”.
Khalid said he also made further remarks. He said: “I was shouting ‘get the fuck out of Burnley’, about three or four times, ‘you’re not welcome here’.”
Mr Stuart asked him: “A number of witnesses have you pointing your fingers in a gun at Mr Griffin.”
“I didn’t do that,” Khalid replied, adding, “I might have done the V sign, but not the gun.”
“Why did you think you might have done that but not the gun,” said Mr Stuart.
Khalid replied: “They were sticking fingers up, my first reaction most likely was like that back to them. I was a bit angry.”
He added: “I shouldn’t have done what I done really, it was just spur of the moment thing.”
Khalid admitted he had a poor recollection of the events of the day.