Liverpool music venue founder fined for racially abusing MP Luciana Berger
THE founder of a Liverpool music venue was fined for a racist rant.
Director of The Picket Philip Hayes, 53, of Oakbank Road, Mossley Hill, pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence against Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger at Liverpool Magistrates Court yesterday.
The court heard that, after the Liverpool Music Awards on November 17, Hayes began talking to Ms Berger and friend Simon Glinn about the situation in Gaza.
Amanda Haycock, prosecuting, said: “During the conversation, Mr Hayes made a number of remarks saying he did not like Jewish people.”
She said he also made derogatory comments about Liverpool solicitor Rex Makin.
Ms Haycock said: “Mr Hayes’s comments upset Ms Berger.
“She asked Mr Glinn to move on to another event at the Philharmonic and they became separated, but as they walked down Hope Street Mr Hayes joined them and started to talk to them.
“He said 'I f**king hate Jewish people’.”
She said Hayes had sent Ms Berger a message on Facebook the following morning to apologise for what he said.
George White, defending, said: “This started off as a discussion and the fact he’s drunk is where he lets himself down. He has been quite clear and frank with respect of that.
“It is totally out of character that he actually said those words.”
He said Hayes admitted having an alcohol problem, but had “fallen off the wagon” that night after not having a drink for five years.
He said there were financial problems at The Picket which were the reason Hayes had been drinking. Mr White said Hayes had worked with a number of social minority groups from the Liverpool area over the years.
He said: “He has let down a great number of friends who he has grown up with and worked with.
“He has been punished in other terms because he has had to go and face these people who he has stood shoulder to shoulder with.”
Hayes was fined £120 and ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge and £35 costs.
Speaking after the case, he said he sincerely apologised for the hurt and offence his behaviour caused to Ms Berger.
He said that, prior to the offence, he had worked for 30 years to help fight racism.
He said: “The words said on the night don't reflect who I am.”
He thanked his friends and family for their support.