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Tuesday, July 27, 1999 Published at 17:59 GMT 18:59 UK


Race test for top night club

Night club Archaos was subjected to a race test

A test was arranged to discover if a leading night club was operating an anti-Asian policy, a court has been told.

A group of white men and a group of Asian men, of similar age and similarly dressed, tried to enter the city's Archaos club, Glasgow Sheriff Court heard.

BBC Scotland Home Affairs Correspondent Reevel Alderson reports
All of the white males were allegedly admitted but the Asians were told they were not regulars and were turned away.

The disclosure was made on the second day of a case brought by the Commission for Racial Equality against the nightclub and its owner Stephan King.

[ image: Owner Stephan King]
Owner Stephan King
The case, which is believed to be the first of its kind in Scotland, revolves around assertions that Mr King breached the Race Relations Act.

It is alleged he instructed staff to limit the number of Asian people allowed into Archaos and the adjoining restaurant bar Yo Yo's, in Glasgow's fashionable Merchant City area.

The court heard Najeemi Parveen, 34, a CRE official, had arranged the test last October following allegations from former steward Jason Wotherspoon.

Mr Wotherspoon told Sheriff Kevin Drummond QC he was ordered to turn Asian people away or face the sack.

Felt ashamed

Mr Wotherspoon, 30, said he was forced to bar two Asians and felt ashamed.

He said: "I told them the reason and that if it was my choice I would let them in.

"They understood the situation because I had let them in before on numerous occasions and as far as they were concerned they knew it was not my fault.

"But I felt ashamed and embarrassed. It didn't exactly make me feel on top of the world. I felt guilty and my conscience was bothering me."

[ image: Jason Wotherspoon: Allegations]
Jason Wotherspoon: Allegations
Mr Wotherspoon said he was relieved of his job a few days later and offered a job elsewhere but never got the chance.

And he alleged he received a veiled threat from Mr King's head steward, Derek Menzies.

He said: "He told me I wouldn't get anywhere and said 'We know where you work. Glasgow's a small city and things can happen'."

Mr Wotherspoon said he also believes he could have been the victim of a hit-and-run three days before the court case.

Great speed

He was standing talking to a friend when a car came at him at great speed.

Mr Wotherspoon said his left arm made contact with the vehicle as it sped past, smashing the windscreen and driver's mirror.

The former steward and his friend gave chase and found the car in an industrial estate with a crowbar wrapped in a cloth in the glove compartment.

He denied he bore a grudge when cross examined by Rory Anderson, representing Mr King.

The case continues.

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