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Thursday, 23 September 2010

Man wrote racist graffiti on black neighbour's door (UK)

A racist German daubed graffiti on a black neighbour's door to "warn" people that he could have the deadly Ebola virus, a court heard.

August Fink, 62, wrote the highly offensive phrases on his neighbour's door because he felt he should tell others that he could be infectious – even though the man had no such illness.

Bristol Magistrates' Court heard that on June 28 PC Mike Lewis was called to a flat in Burlington Court on Burlington Road in Redland. When he arrived he spoke to the man whose door had been covered with the graffiti, and while they chatted Fink approached PC Lewis and asked if he had checked the neighbour's permit to live there.

PC Lewis said: "I noticed the graffiti on the front door written in marker pen, which read 'No. Ebola. Bazillos' and then a racist comment.

"The man identified himself as August Fink, the occupant of the flat. He admitted to me that he had written it on the flat door because he was concerned about his neighbour, who was black and believed that he carried the Ebola virus."

There was also graffiti on another door, in the same marker pen, with racist remarks against Jewish people, although Fink denied that he was responsible for it.

After he was arrested the court heard Fink admitted to officers at the scene that he had written it to warn people that black people have Ebola.

In an interview with police Fink said: "When I saw there was a Negro in the house I wrote something against infectious illnesses on the door.

"It was to inform them of possible infectious illnesses because of a black person living in the house.

"Bazillo is a similar virus. I wrote this because black people could have this infection and other people could be infected because of it."

Fink also said that any infection of a monkey could infect humans, and that black people were dying because of Ebola.

Fink was not in court, and in his absence District Judge David Parsons found him guilty of one charge of a racially aggravated public order offence.

He said: "Having heard from PC Lewis, and his admission in interview, I find he did display the signs.

"I am sure that it was insulting, and on that basis find him guilty of causing harassment, alarm or distress."

Five other charges, including causing racially or religiously aggravated harassment, harassment without violence and using threatening words or behaviour were dropped because witnesses refused to come forward.

Fink failed to answer bail for the court hearing, so a warrant was ordered for his arrest so he can be sentenced.

This is Bristol