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Barry Bonner fined after shouting slurs at Polish people on Maidstone train platform

By Claire McWethy

A man who hurled racist abuse at a group of Eastern Europeans before declaring “this is England”, has been fined.

Barry Bonner was waiting for a train at Maidstone West and was heard shouting slurs about Polish people, directed towards three male passengers.

Station manager Robert Mears confronted the 40-year-old, of Sunningdale Court in Square Hill Road, and later called the police when he refused to leave the platform.

Barry Bonner at Maidstone Magistrates Court
Barry Bonner at Maidstone Magistrates Court

Giving evidence at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court Mr Mears said Bonner appeared to be intoxicated, adding: “He was standing in an aggressive stance, beating his chest with his fists.

“He was shouting and swearing. I know what racism is and I said ‘I’m not accepting it’. I told him I found it offensive and told him to leave. There were other passengers on the platform as well as the three fellows he was talking to.”

When he was arrested at the station, in February, Bonner protested he couldn’t be a racist because his brother was black, the court heard.

But later, in police custody, he told Sgt Philip Osafo of the British Transport Police: “This is England. They come over here and take our jobs. Only the English should be here.”

Maidstone West railway station. Stock picture
Maidstone West railway station. Stock picture

Taking to the stand, Bonner said he had struggled to find a job due to an influx of foreign workers on low wages and that he was entitled to his opinion.

But he later conceded that his inability to find work was down to being an ex-addict with no qualifications.

Bonner claimed he had told the Eastern European men to go home because they had sworn at him, and that his comments had been taken the wrong way.

Chairman of the bench Harry Teacher said Mr Mears’ evidence was credible.

Bonner was found guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence and fined £120.

He must also pay £230 in court costs.

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