ICWales.co.uk, September 20, 2006
A Member of the British National Party was found guilty today of a race hate offence in a unique case in which the victim was absent and completely unknown.
Robert McGlynn, 40, of Llansamlet, Swansea, South Wales, claimed the case against him was biased from the start and should never have got to court.
McGlynn was convicted of racially aggravated disorderly conduct at Swansea magistrates’ court after a lengthy hearing today.
But the sole witness against him had been given a prestigious award by the South Wales Police for her part in the case, before it had even taken place.
Swansea receptionist Lydia Rees, 43, was given the force’s Community Safety Volunteer of the Year Award earlier this summer.
As the key and sole witness for the prosecution against McGlynn she told today how he shouted and gestured at a traditionally-clothed Asian woman in the street.
Mrs Rees said she was shocked to hear him shout what she took to be “Paki whore” and “Sieg Heil” at the woman through his open car window.
As a result Mrs Rees followed him to a nearby garage in her own car, took down his registration and reported him to the police.
McGlynn was arrested and charged about one week later but his victim never came forward and remains unknown.
The incident took place on June 13 as McGlynn drove through the Hafod area of Swansea on the way to drop his car off for its MOT.
Mrs Rees, who was stationary at a junction at the time, told the court: “He was shouting, his face was quite contorted with the effort he was putting in.
“To me it appeared that he was being venomous. His face appeared quite contorted.”
She added: “But I could not swear to the words I did hear.”
She said that afterwards she carried on to work, where colleagues noticed the effect the incident had had on her.
McGlynn, for his part, told the court that Mrs Rees was simply mistaken in what she thought she saw and heard.
After his arrest he had been given several opportunities to make a statement but had refused to speak.
In court today he said: “Basically, I do not remember anything about that morning. I am completely surprised about how this case came about.
“I believe she (Mrs Rees) is mistaken, that is all. I just took my car to the garage for an MOT and that was that.”
He said he had refused to answer questions after his arrest because he felt “intimidated”.
“I thought I was safer saying nothing. I felt intimidated.”
Emma Smith, prosecuting, said to McGlynn: “I’m going to suggest to you that what she heard and saw was correct, that you were making gestures out of the window and were shouting Sieg Heil.
“She heard you shouting and gesturing because that is what you did.”
McGlynn replied: “I have told you this was a complete surprise to me.”
Mrs Smith added: “It is the case that you quite simply hid behind your right to make no comment because if you had told the truth about what happened on that day, quite obviously you would be guilty.”
“No,” replied McGlynn.
Magistrates took almost one hour to conclude that McGlynn was guilty of the charge.
They said that Mrs Rees’ evidence had been “compelling” and McGlynn’s less so because of his refusal to say anything at the time of his arrest.
That led them to conclude he was guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
He was fined £200 and ordered to pay £200 costs.
After the case McGlynn, who is unemployed, single and lives with his mother, said: “I was hung, drawn and quartered before I even set foot in court today.
“This is a crime without a victim with evidence from someone who admitted they didn’t really hear what was happening and who had already had an award for reporting the case before she stepped into court.
“I am completely innocent and it worries me what is happening in Britain today.
“You have mad mullahs preaching death and destruction in our streets and nothing is done while law-abiding people can be convicted of nothing more than driving their car with the window open.”