Mildenhall man fails in court bid to get conviction quashed

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A Mildenhall man who was convicted of racially abusing a Chinese man in a supermarket has failed in a Court of Appeal bid to clear his name.

Richard Freeman Dale, 54, of Chestnut Close, Mildenhall, directed a torrent of vile abuse at the man in a Tesco, in Fordham Road, Newmarket, in April 2013.

Staff members called police and he was arrested. He was convicted of a racially aggravated offence of causing harassment, alarm or distress at Ipswich Crown Court last February.

He was given a four-month suspended sentence, but appealed against his conviction today after the suspended sentence was activated for a breach last November. Dale, who claimed the incident was started by his victim pushing him, complained that a recording of the emergency call to police should not have gone before the jury.

But at the Court of Appeal in London, Mr Justice Wilkie, Lord Justice Jackson and Mr Justice Jay rejected the criticism and upheld Dale’s conviction.

“There is no arguable ground for appeal arising out of the alleged improprieties of the CPS in either disclosing, or relying on, or having played to the jury that 999 tape,’ said Mr Justice Wilkie.

“It is clear that the judge summed up very fairly and fully the evidence of the three eye-witnesses, as well as Dale’s evidence itself.

“It is not arguable that this conviction for this particular offence was unsafe.’

The court heard three members of staff saw Dale behaving in a racially abusive and threatening manner towards the man, including challenging him to a fight.