A man was found guilty yesterday of racially abusing the Michelin-starred chef Malcolm John, making him feel “worthless” in his own restaurant.
Croydon Magistrates Court heard that Kevin Boxall, of Wales Avenue, Carshalton, entered the Brasserie Vacherin restaurant in Sutton at midday on May 30 2015, where he got into a dispute with John over an incident at the restaurant four weeks before.
John told the court that Boxall, 43, had an “aggressive demeanor” and asked him to leave the premises when they became “very close to each other.” Boxall was then said to have uttered the phrase “you black bastard” under his breath, prompting John to “usher” him out of the restaurant.
The court also heard that Boxall further insulted John by shouting further racial abuse at him when he was taken out onto the pavement. John and a customer at the restaurant attempted to restrain Boxall and called the police.
The case became heated when defence barrister, John-Paul MacNamara, suggested that Boxall had not used any racist language and that John had, in-fact, assaulted Boxall by “throwing him out of the restaurant,” which John stringently denied.
“Do you usher your customers out the same way?” MacNamara said, to which Boxall replied: “I assure you my customers wouldn’t call me a black bastard.”
John told how the event “made him feel worthless” and said that it “felt like being bullied at school again”.
“If there is a word or term that really gets under my skin it’s being called something derogatory about my skin colour.”
A paramedic nearby came to intervene after Boxall “threw himself onto the floor and spread-eagled,” before officers arrived at the scene.
Boxall was fined £930 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £93, as well as costs of £620.