Former race relations adviser cleared of racially aggravated offence charge
Judah Adunbi was acquitted of two charges, relating to an alleged incident at a betting shop.
A former race relations adviser to the police has been acquitted of a racially aggravated public order offence.
Judah Adunbi, 64, was found not guilty of the charge following a trial at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
He was arrested at his home in Easton in April after staff at a betting shop complained that he had used racist language and made a gun-like gesture with his hand.
During the trial, 27 minutes of CCTV footage from the William Hill shop was played – though it did not have any sound.
District Judge Steven Jonas told Mr Adunbi: “You appeared to be animated and to be gesturing and you appeared to be using your fingers in a way that could easily be interpreted as a gun sign.
I would never, never insult people on the colour of their skin. It is impossible Judah Adunbi
“Then I heard you give evidence – or more particularly I watched you give your evidence.
“You were particularly animated with your hands. You were not aware of your actions.
“The William Hill staff didn’t put their heads together to concoct a story but from the CCTV – and I have watched the relevant sections more than once now – I cannot be sure.
“I find you not guilty of both of these charges.”
During the trial, Paul Ricketts, prosecuting, said the incident arose after Luke Littlechild, a manager at the betting shop, refused to allow a friend to bet on Mr Adunbi’s behalf.
He alleged that Mr Adunbi had become aggressive and put two fingers together in a “gun-like” gesture before telling Mr Littlechild: “Watch your back, you’re going to die.”
Daljit Singh, another manager at the shop, said Mr Adunbi made the gesture and told Mr Littlechild: “You white bastard, I’m going to get you f***** up”.
Mr Singh told the court that Mr Adunbi then left the shop but returned a few minutes later, repeated the hand gesture and said to Mr Littlechild: “White scum, I’m going to get you f***** up”.
Both managers said that Mr Adunbi was barred from betting at the shop due to a previous incident but was allowed to come in and talk to friends there, which he did up to four times per week.
Mr Adunbi was arrested on April 18, after the managers filled out an incident report form, and immediately protested his innocence.
He told police: “I’m denying all of this. Bring them to court. This suggests Judah is a racist. No way. I would never utter such words.”
Representing Mr Adunbi, Rodney Wilson disputed that his client had been banned from the shop, had made the gesture or used racist language.
Mr Adunbi, a retired local government officer, said he worked with the community to promote race relations and was passionate about sport as it is “a great leveller”.
“I would never, never insult people on the colour of their skin,” he told the court. “It is impossible.”
The court was provided with references for Mr Adunbi by Bristol’s Lord Mayor, Cllr Cleo Lake, as well as Alex Raikes, Strategic Director for the charity Stand Against Racism & Inequality.
Members of the public wore t-shirts bearing the words “Justice 4 Judah” and clapped after the judge returned his verdict.
Mr Adunbi is a former member of the Independent Advisory Group to Avon and Somerset Police.
In May, Pc Claire Boddie, of Avon and Somerset Police, was acquitted of common assault on Mr Adunbi by Tasering him.