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Kiwi called 'stupid fat Australian' wins racial abuse compo

Published: 8:38AM Thursday November 22, 2012 Source: ONE News

A New Zealand-born woman has won a racial abuse case against a neighbour who called her a "stupid fat Australian".

Chelsea O'Reilly, who has dual British/New Zealand citizenship, said she felt offended and insulted by Czech-born Petra Mills's drunken rant on their street in Macclesfield, south of Manchester in England.

O'Reilly was giving a statement to police after a domestic incident between Mills and her husband when the neighbour stormed over to her house and began screaming at her, the UK's Daily Mail reported.

Mills was fined 110 pounds (NZ$215) for racially aggravated public disorder and 200 pounds (NZ$392) for assaulting a police officer during her arrest. She was also ordered to pay both her victims 50 pounds (NZ$98) compensation and court costs.

Mills, 31, denied racially aggravated public disorder but was found guilty after a trial at Macclesfield Magistrates' Court.

The two women had lived next door to each other for 18 months when O'Reilly heard banging and drilling, said prosecutor Iain Mutch.

The court heard that Mills fled her home and called the police. When she returned, police had arrested her husband, who was later released without charge.

O'Reilly said: "She called me a stupid fat Australian b****. Because of my accent there can be some confusion over my nationality. She knew I was from New Zealand.

"She was trying to be offensive. I was really insulted. She said she would kill my dog. Bizarrely she then blew raspberries at me like a child."

Mills, who told the court the row had been caused by the stress of moving house, said: "Yes, I shouted at her but it had nothing to do with racism."

Mills' lawyer said her offence was motivated by her anger at O'Reilly's "snooping" and not her nationality.

But Mutch argued Mills's intention was to "racially insult" her victim.

Chairman of the bench Brian Donohue said: "You were in an emotional and inebriated state.

"The word Australian was used. It was racially aggravated and the main reason it was used was in hostility."

* Mills won her case on appeal in 2013 - read the update here