Stu­dent abuser ap­peals against ver­dict

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY MAR­CUS DYSCH

A MAN who racially abused a Jewish stu­dent has launched an at­tempt to have his con­vic­tion over­turned.

Paul Don­nachie, of Black­pool, was sen­tenced to com­mu­nity ser­vice last Septem­ber af­ter he was found guilty of at­tack­ing Chanan Reit­blat at a St An­drews Univer­sity hall of res­i­dence.

Dur­ing the in­ci­dent, Don­nachie, 19, put his hands down his trousers be­fore wip­ing them on an Is­raeli flag. At Ed­in­burgh’s High Court of Crim­i­nal ap­peal on Wed­nes­day last week, his lawyer ar­gued that the orig­i­nal trial had not been con­ducted cor­rectly.

John Scott QC said Sher­iff Charles Mac­nair QC had been wrong not to al­low three wit­nesses to give ev­i­dence to prove Don­nachie’s act had been a po­lit­i­cal protest rather than an at­tack on Mr Reit­blat’s re­li­gious be­liefs.

Don­nachie was ex­pelled from St An­drews af­ter his con­vic­tion. Mr Scott said char­ac­ter­is­ing Don­nachie as an­ti­semitic was a “grave in­sult”.

Lead pros­e­cu­tion lawyer Alex Prentice QC told the court that the ev­i­dence of the three wit­nesses would have been “ir­rel­e­vant”. He said an aca­demic dis­cus­sion on the pol­i­tics of the Mid­dle East would have been of no help in the trial and would not have af­fected the ver­dict.

The judges will give a rul­ing within three months.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.