A Scottish man was fined $350 in a court of law for calling his ex-girlfriend’s new Irish boyfriend a “leprechaun.”
Terry Myers, 41, also made “various threats to assault” the woman’s new boyfriend, said prosecutor Susan Love, according to the Evening Express.
In his email, Myers made reference to the women’s boyfriend being Irish, calling him a Leprechaun. “This was found to be offensive as the man was born in Dublin,” Love said.
“Myers pled guilty to sending a message to his ex partner that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character in that it used offensive and derogatory language to refer to her new partner and threatened to assault him,” the Express reported.
“Iain Hingston, counsel for the defense, said that there was a history between the two men, and that all charges related to one message or a set of messages,” Irish Central reported. “Hingston said that the history between the men was ‘petty and pathetic’ but that Myers should not have used the language that he did.”
“All of this arises out of one message or set of messages,” Hingston said.
It’s not the first time the word “leprechaun” has made its way to court, Irish Central noted.
In a similar case in 2008, a Liverpool court found that calling someone a leprechaun was not a racist insult.
In that case, 18-year-old Andeliza Tucker called Eleanor Vince a “f**king leprechaun” and was charged with racially aggravated harassment.
However, defense attorney Louise McCloskey – of Irish ancestry – successfully argued that the prosecution was “political correctness gone mad,” according to the Daily Mail.
Scotland has some very different laws about language.
A Glasgow Sheriff Court in 2018 found Scottish YouTube personality Count Dankula — real name Mark Meechan — guilty of being “grossly offensive,” which was explicitly banned in Section 127 of the 2003 Communications Act.
Meechan was arrested in April 2016 for allegedly committing a hate crime by sharing a short video on YouTube. The video showed him teaching his girlfriend’s dog to give a Nazi “Sieg Heil salute,” and showed the pug named Buddha responding excitedly to the phrase “gas the Jews.”
He says the video was intended to be seen by just seven of his friends who follow his YouTube channel, Count Dankula, the Daily Mail reported. He taught the dog to act like a Nazi as “a joke intended to upset his girlfriend,” Newsweek wrote. “But he says the video was shared by someone on the social media platform Reddit, which led to the surge in its popularity,” said the Mail. The video was viewed some 3 million times.
Sheriff Derek O’Carroll told the court: “The accused knew that the material was offensive and knew why it was offensive. He would have known it was grossly offensive to many Jewish people.” He found Meechan guilty of sending by “means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character.”
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