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Friday, 14 April, 2000, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
Night-club boss 'was not racist'
Archaos night club
Night club Archaos was at the centre of the case
A night-club boss has been cleared of claims he was a racist who barred Asians from his Glasgow premises.

The Commission for Racial Equality's civil action against Stefan King was thrown out by the city's Sheriff Court on Friday.

In a written finding, Sheriff Kevin Drummond dismissed allegations that Mr King ordered door staff at the Archaos Disco and Yo Yo's restaurant bar to reduce the number of young Asians entering the premises.

There was no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Stefan King had ever given any racist instruction to anyone at any time

Sheriff Kevin Drummond
But the sheriff said he was "disturbed" that young Asian men who gave evidence believed they were discriminated against in the city's night clubs.

There was evidence from a number of people during the 10-day case which ran between last July and February, 2000.

Sheriff Drummond said he did not believe the evidence of sacked door steward Jason Wotherspoon, 30.

Perception of racism

Mr Wotherspoon, a former "bouncer," claimed that head steward Derek Menzies told him Mr King wanted Asians barred from the club and restaurant.

The sheriff says: "There was no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Stefan King had ever given any racist instruction to anyone at any time or had ever engaged in conduct of any overtly or covertly racist nature."

Stefan King
Owner Stefan King: Cleared
However, he adds: "These were without exception young men of the utmost respectability who believe that a number of night clubs in Glasgow operate a policy of racial discrimination.

"Whether that is right or wrong was no part of the case before me.

"I believed the evidence of each of these witnesses and there is accordingly a body of evidence before me which tends to suggest that there is at least a perception within part of the Asian community that racial discrimination is a feature of club life for young Asian males.

"In this case no such policy did exist."

'Not discriminatory'

Sheriff Drummond said the court had been told that two groups of Asian youths had been fighting outside Archaos with weapons and that Mr Menzies had told door stewards not to admit any of the troublemakers.

Said the sheriff: "In the following weeks Asian youths being admitted to Archaos were subjected to more scrutiny than they might have been previously.

Jason Wotherspoon
Jason Wotherspoon: Allegations
"The instruction given by Derek Menzies was one which was justified and was not discriminatory in terms of the Race Relations Act, l976."

Mr Wotherspoon claimed that Mr Menzies said Archaos will always be known as a "racist club," but the sheriff said he did not believe Mr Wotherspoon.

The sheriff said: "I not only disbelieved Jason Wotherspoon but I found his evidence to contain elements of fabrication, half truth and some deliberate distortion and fantasy."

Mr King denied giving instructions to Mr Menzies that Asian men were to be barred and said the claims were "ridiculous".

He said the Asian clientele had been a part of his business and he was only interested in making money.

Mr King said his mother was Jewish and his father Catholic and denied there was a racist policy operating.

Sheriff Drummond said of Mr King: "I believed the evidence of this witness."

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14 Apr 00 | UK Politics
Government defends race record
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