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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 April 2006, 14:08 GMT 15:08 UK
Judge labels case 'PC gone mad'
Legal proceedings against a 10-year-old boy over alleged racist name-calling have been labelled political correctness gone mad, by a judge.

The boy from Irlam, Greater Manchester, was summonsed to court accused of racially abusing a fellow pupil.

Judge Jonathan Finestein told Salford Youth Court the boys would have been given "a good clouting" in his day.

Adjourning it to 20 April, he asked prosecutors to reconsider whether the case was in the public interest.

Nobody is more against racist abuse than me but these are boys in a playground, this is nonsense
Judge Jonathan Finestein

The boy is accused of abusing an 11-year-old pupil in a school playground between 1 July 2005 and 30 January 2006.

The court was told that the boys are now friends and play football with each other.

But Mr Finestein said he thought the decision to prosecute the youngster was "crazy" and urged the Crown Prosecution Service to reconsider its decision.

"Have we really got to the stage where we are prosecuting 10-year-old boys because of political correctness?

"I was repeatedly called fat at school. Does this amount to a criminal offence?

He added: "Nobody is more against racist abuse than me but these are boys in a playground, this is nonsense.

"I think somebody should consider reversing the decision to prosecute."

A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police said the force took all crimes seriously and was totally opposed to any racism.

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