UK: Ringtone race row lands fan in a cell
I’m not sure why this bloke wasn’t sentenced to at least 10 years hard labour over this racist incident. I mean, how did he expect to get away with having a “racist” ringtone on his phone and get away with it?? Another PC moment to make us all warm and fuzzy inside. I am now also on the look-out (or should that be hear-out) for racist ringtones so I too can dob these racists in and get my 15 minutes of fame!
MOVIE fan Martin Smith landed in court on a racism charge after he downloaded part of the soundtrack from the 1980s comedy film Rita, Sue and Bob Too! and installed it as a ringtone on his mobile.
Martin, of Holmewood, north Derbyshire, claims friends and workmates got used to hearing the voice of an Asian actor reciting the words “I can’t help being a Paki…”.
But a woman from a mixed race family wasn’t amused when Martin’s Nokia went off as she queued alongside him at a village shop.
Over-hearing the clip from the movie – which chronicles the exploits of two schoolgirls growing up on a rundown estate in Bradford – the woman went home and lodged a formal complaint with the police.
Officers arrested the 36-year-old at home two days later and locked him in the cells at Chesterfield for four hours before charging him with contravening race relation laws.
Angry warehouseman Martin hit out after magistrates fined him £191 with £85 costs for using racially aggravated threatening or insulting words or behaviour.
He said: “Arresting me was a total over-reaction – surely the police have better things to do with their time.
“If Channel 4 can put Rita, Sue and Bob Too! on TV all the time, as it does, then why can’t I play a clip from the soundtrack on my phone?
“If it’s good enough for prime time Tv then it ought to be good enough for me and my mobile.
“My ringtone wouldn’t have suited everybody, but the film’s my all time favourite. I’ve seen it 15 or 20 times and I should be able to download what I want without the police hauling me off to the cells and calling me a racist.
“I’ve had the ringtone for a year and nobody’s ever complained. All my friends and workmates thought it was hilarious.”