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Officers in court over ‘monkey related jibes’ to colleagues

VENUE: Westminster Magistrates’ Court

TWO METROPOLITAN police officers are currently in court after being accused of making racist comments to colleagues.

At Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London, PC Kevin Hughes – from Brentwood, Essex – is alleged to have said whilst on patrol in Newham, east London: "Look at them [three black men], they look like... monkeys."

PC David Hair, 42 – from Epping, Essex – is accused of saying to a black female colleague that he thought she was "going home to cook bananas".

Hair and Hughes are charged with using threatening words or behaviour to cause alarm and distress and racially-aggravated harassment.

Both officers, who were suspended by the Met in April, deny the charges.

The court heard how PC Hughes was with three other officers in a patrol vehicle when he made the comments in February to PC Costas Dakoutros.

"He began to deliberate that they (black people) were closely related to chimpanzees and then said they were more closely related to Neanderthals," said prosecutor Kate Wilkinson.

"He said he didn't recall seeing three black males but said he saw someone with a certain gait who walked like a monkey and he had said to PC Dakoutros something about a monkey."

In March, when asked by black colleague PC Julia Dacres if he was going to any overtime, PC Hair is accused to have said: "I didn't know if you were going to go into a little rant and say you were going to go home and cook bananas."

Prosecutor Wilkinson also told the court that Hair and Hughes regularly mocked Asian culture.

Speaking at the court, PC Dacres said: "I felt that if they (Hair and Hughes) have got these views and we were in our normal everyday work and we ran into something a bit dangerous or scary, would they just leave me to it?"

PC Dacres also told the court that after receiving the alleged racist comment she suffered from stress-related illnesses.

Another PC, who was present during the alleged incidents, informed the court that the moral of PC Dacres and PC Dakoutros was “extremely low”.

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