‘Monkey’ jibe was not racist insists accused

Jedburgh Sheriff Court
Jedburgh Sheriff Court

A factory worker who sent racist messages on social media has been fined £270 at Jedburgh Sheriff Court.

Vaclav Kriz intercepted messages sent to his partner by a man of African origin who had recently moved to the Borders from Portugal.

The 36-year-old from Eyemouth did not like the content of the messages and the fact they ended with kisses and used the phone to send messages back referring to the man’s skin colour by calling him “monkey.”

Kriz pleaded guilty to a charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and sending racial messages on January 29.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser said: “The accused was previously in a relationship with the lady.

“A man had come to the Borders from Portugal and was using Facebook to make friends locally, and one was sent to the partner of the accused on Facebook.

“Messages were exchanged between the pair and the chat ended with kisses.

“The accused had a look at this at 6am, and used the phone to send messages back referring to the man’s skin, he is of African origin, by calling him a monkey.

“The man made a video call to the phone to see who was sending him the messages.”

Defence lawyer Ross Dow said his client insisted he was not racist and did not think using the word monkey was a racist term.

“He felt the man was being over-familiar with his partner and arranging to meet up.”