Man cleared of Griffin race abuse

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Jury takes just 45 minutes to clear Tauriq Khalid

AN Asian man has been cleared of racially abusing British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin.

Tauriq Khalid, 23, was cleared by a jury at Preston Crown Court, following the three-day trial.

Mr Khalid had denied he shouted “white b*******” at Mr Griffin during a BNP demonstration in Burnley in November last year.

Mr Griffin had told the court as well as being subjected to racial abuse Mr Khalid also made a “gun and gang gesture” at him leading him to fear for his own safety.

But it took the jury just 45 minutes to clear Mr Khalid of all charges.

Khalid admitted shouting derisory comments from his car window at far-right BNP demonstrators outside Burnley police station.

He told the jury he stopped his silver Vauxhall Astra and shouted abuse at Nick Griffin and made a V-sign with his fingers. But he denied making a gun gesture towards Mr Griffin, a North West MEP with an office in Burnley, or that he indicated he intended to shoot him.

He told the jury: “I shouldn’t have done what I done really, it was just a spur of the moment thing.”

Mr Griffin, giving evidence on the first day of the trial, claimed he was called a “white b******” by a young Asian man in a silver Astra.

He said the man “leaned out of the car and pointed at me and made a gun and gang gesture”. Mr Griffin also claimed the defendant threatened him by shouting “I’m going to…”.

He said that although he didn’t hear the words, he interpreted them as a threat to kill or shoot him, prompting him to leave the demonstration fearing for his safety.

Khalid was arrested after one of the protesters noted down his car’s registration number and complained to police.

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