Kevin O’Sullivan: ‘What happened when I was charged with a hate crime’

From The Spectator in England:

After a 30-second scuffle on a train, it took 20 months and £15,000 to clear my name

For 20 months, I stood accused of a hate crime: homophobically motivated common assault. The British Transport Police pursued my case with extraordinary zeal. So too did the Crown Prosecution Service. I was plunged into a world where common sense withered and died.

The nightmare began when I was travelling home to London after a funeral in Kent. I was chatting with a friend on the train when a strange man started shouting at us from across the carriage. ‘Shut up!’ he yelled before accusing us of conducting a sexist and misogynistic conversation at high volume. This was, in his opinion, ‘offensive’.

We were bemused. Talking at a normal volume for a private conversation, we were in fact discussing a male colleague, admittedly using the occasional swear word. Jabbing his finger at us, our accuser insisted we were using derogatory language about a woman. We weren’t. I suggested that he might like to stop his tirade. But he carried on screaming at us. When he went to get up, I decided to defend myself by trying to keep him in his seat. I thought it would be safer that way. My friend was 66 and not well. At this point our accuser leapt to his feet and punched me in the face. A playground grappling session ensued. I’m no fighter and nor was he. It was a non-event, handbags. No one was hurt.

Someone had dialled 999, the guard arrived and I returned to my seat. The entire altercation lasted about 30 seconds. The train halted at Tunbridge Wells, a police officer took our statements separately and informed me that my accuser didn’t want to press charges. Nor did I. He got off the train, I continued my journey and that was the end of it. Or so I thought.

A day later a British Transport Police officer rang my adversary — who turned out to be a university lecturer. For reasons I will never know, this call led to a change of heart by my accuser. The BTP subsequently interviewed me, and before I knew what had happened I was being accused of homophobic abuse and assault. I was stunned. I had allegedly interrupted the man’s attempts to make a phone call by asking him if he was ringing his gay lover.

This allegation could have ruined my life. Had I been found guilty, as a television critic and pundit who appears on the box and the radio regularly, my career would have been over.

The man had no evidence to support his claim. On my side, I had several witnesses who had heard nothing of the sort, plus CCTV footage that showed our altercation had been no more than an insignificant skirmish. Still, the police investigated my case with ardour. The investigating officers’ florid report to the CPS made it sound as if I’d beaten the hell out of the guy. It was nonsense. Nevertheless, charges were duly pressed.


* This guy was conducting a loud, offensive conversation with his equally loutish friend, then was asked to keep his voice down, then proceeded to threaten, insult, and assault a member of the public.

* I know very well that the zealous little British Transport coppers who tried to ruin my life did so because the successful prosecution of hate crimes gets them promoted. So sorry it didn’t work out for them. And really hope they enjoyed reading my article in The Spectator.

* Recently, here in NYC, a story occurred whereby a white mma fighter obliterated two muslim teens in front of their mosque. The media erupted with “hate crime” paranoia, parroting the mosques’ fabricated story of how the wonderfully innocent teens were carrying canned goods to the local orphanage and offered to help a stranded woman in her car before being set on by this beast shouting anti-islamic epithets.

Turns out these teens had fondled the woman, insulted her in her car, tried to reach in through the window to harass her. The boyfriend had come out and beat the ever-loving snot out of them. Justice served. But I worry about that man’s life now, being pursued by the lawyers of these rats.

* Alison Saunders, a lesbian and Common Purpose graduate, is at the heart of this war against free speech, conservatism and maleness. The facts and the events described in this piece are unlikely to be entirely unconnected.

* As a person with some experience in conflicts, I recommend: 1- Never touch anyone, even less if the person is not known to you. 2- Never engage in a personal discussion in public with an unknown. Ignore him and go away. 3- If possible, when being addressed by an unknown person, film the interview.

* The process is a large part of the punishment.

This was made clear by my own “hate speech” stalker on these forums, robbersdog, who claimed he would get me prosecuted for alleged “antisemitic hate speech”, and his special identity lobby contacts gave him the opportunity to meet directly with an Assistant Chief Constable, no less, to try to persuade him how much I deserved to be prosecuted for my opinions.

He openly gloated about supposed other victims of his snitching, and how much suffering he hoped would be caused by the mere process of the police arresting me, searching my house and confiscating my computers, long before any actual conviction.

* And whilst we’re on the subject of deletions…I’m going for the big one, ie, the ultimate solution to the Randal problem. I’ve already been in touch with one of Disqus’ two founders in San Francisco, and I’ll be furnishing him with details of the police investigation into your hate-speech. He’s got a Jewish wife and many of his investors (who will be contacted if necessary) are Jewish too. Those Jews eh?

Remember when you told me to “bring it on”? Well…you didn’t expect me to ignore that challenge did you? When an antisemite like you throws down the gauntlet with such misplaced, hubristic machismo, I’m only too happy to oblige. So it’s both odd and ironic that you spend so much time whinging to other people about all of this, because I’m only doing what you asked me to do.

* I have to admire the irony of your position here — essentially you are threatening an (alleged) antisemite with an international Jewish conspiracy against him, no?

Unless this is intended to be some rarified form of comedy that I have misunderstood, one might tentatively suggest that perhaps attempting to confirm the batty conspiracy theories of antisemites everywhere is not a good way to combat antisemitism…

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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