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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 September 2006, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
Race abuse conviction 'landmark'
Robert McGlynn
McGlynn was convicted despite no evidence from the victim
An anti-racism body has described the conviction of a BNP member for racial abuse despite the victim not coming forward as a "landmark" case.

Robert McGlynn, of Llansamlet, Swansea, was fined by Swansea magistrates for racially aggravated disorderly conduct after abusing an Asian woman.

The woman was never traced but witness Lydia Rees reported the incident.

Taha Idris, of Swansea Bay Racial Equality Council, praised police and the courts for taking up the case.

McGlynn, 40, was convicted after the only witness to the incident, Lydia Rees saw him shouting abuse at a traditionally-clothed Asian woman in the Hafod area of Swansea on 13 June this year.

Mrs Rees, 43, told magistrates she was shocked to hear him shout "Sieg Heil" and other abuse at the woman through his open car window.

She told the court: "He was shouting. To me it appeared that he was being venomous. His face appeared quite contorted."

Taha Idris
I would congratulate this woman for being strong and coming forward
Taha Idris, Swansea Bay Racial Equality Council

She added: "But I could not swear to the words I did hear."

Mrs Rees followed McGlynn, took down his registration and reported him to the police.

McGlynn was arrested and charged a week later but his victim never came forward and remains unknown.

McGlynn, who denied the charge, told the court that Mrs Rees was mistaken in what she thought she saw.

He said: "Basically, I do not remember anything about that morning. I am completely surprised about how this case came about.

"I believe she [Mrs Rees] is mistaken, that is all. I just took my car to the garage for an MOT and that was that."

Emma Smith, prosecuting, said to McGlynn: "I'm going to suggest to you that what she heard and saw was correct, that you were making gestures out of the window and were shouting 'Sieg Heil'.

"She heard you shouting and gesturing because that is what you did."

Convicting McGlynn, magistrates said that Mrs Rees' evidence had been "compelling".

McGlynn was fined 200 and ordered to pay 200 costs.

Mrs Rees was given South Wales Police's community safety volunteer of the year award earlier this summer for her actions.

'Credible witness'

Mr Idris, director of Swansea Bay Racial Equality Council: "It's a landmark in the sense that there's no victim, but on the evidence of the witness the case was taken up by the police and courts.

"The witness was credible and the criminal justice system believed she was credible.

"I would congratulate this woman for being strong and coming forward. She's seen it as her duty as a citizen.

"I would ask other people to do the same - without witnesses cases like this fall apart."

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