A woman has been forced to pay-out almost £1,000 after being found guilty of a racist outburst at a café owner in Ossett.
Last year, Martha Kolleh-McBurrough made national headlines after posting a sign outside her Yeanon café in the town warning people to ‘beware she is ‘black’.
Three months later and the small business owner was the victim of such verbal abuse by a woman who claimed she had seen the mother-of-two bump her car in the car park.
Care worker, Laura Mitchell, 25, stormed inside the café to confront Ms Kolleh-McBurrough about the action, and whilst holding her three-year-old daughter, called her a host of names including ‘black b***h’.
Mitchell is also alleged to have threatened to slap the victim, magistrates in Wakefield were told.
Ms Kolleh-McBurrough said: “She was calling me all the names in the book. She was really, really angry.”
Mitchell, a mother-of-two also from Ossett who was seven months pregnant at the time, denied the claims Ms Kolleh-McBurrough told her ‘you’re accusing me because of the colour of my skin’.
She said she had only gone into the cafe to exchange insurance details with Ms Kolleh-McBurrough who then proceeded to stand ‘right in my face, yelling and waving a spatula about in a threatening manner. She seemed very irate’.
Witness, Andrew Morris, contradicted Mitchell’s statement and said he told her directly that ‘there’s no need for racism’.
Prosecuting, Martin Sleight said: “The complainant came across as an honest and truthful witness who hadn’t come to court to make a malicious allegation against the defendant.”
Adding in reference to the cafe owner’s sign, he said: “She felt that people were racist towards her. I do not believe that people of Ossett are generally racist.”
Ben Tighe, for Mitchell, said she was of previous good character but added: “Racism cannot and must not be tolerated in our society.”
Mitchell was fined £485 and ordered to pay a £300 victim surcharge.