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UK: Jail Time for Revving Engine in a Racist Manner

The Newspaper | September 20 2006

A motorist in Scotland, UK is fined $238 and sent to jail for two days for the crime of revving his Lotus Esprit in a racist manner.

Scottish motorist Ronnie Hutton, 49, was jailed for two days for the crime of "revving his car in a racist manner" last September. After waiting more than a year to try the case, the Stirling Sheriff court finally convicted Hutton yesterday of breach of the peace and fined him £150 (US $282).

An off duty officer, Chief Inspector Eoin Jenkins, said Hutton had revved the engine of his Lotus Esprit near two Muslims last year. After Hutton dismissed Jenkins' concern with an expletive, Jenkins immediately dispatched two police officers to Hutton's home where he was taken and thrown in jail for two days without formal charges. Hutton explained that his revving had nothing to do with nearby pedestrians, rather, he was keeping his temperamental and expensive V8 engine from stalling and being damaged.

"To be convicted for revving my car in a busy street is hard to take," Hutton told the Sunday Mail newspaper. "Does this mean anyone driving a noisy car in Scotland is now a criminal?"

Asked in court why the man may have revved his engine, Hana Saad, 23, said through an interpreter, "Maybe because we are Muslim."

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