A MOBILE phone recording played in court led to a man charged with racial abuse to change his plea.
The drama unfolded at Solihull Magistrates Court this week when William O’Hanlon from Hockley Heath denied racially abusing his landlord during a mobile call on January 28 this year.
The prosecution alleged that O’Hanlon, 38, left an abusive voicemail on Amerdeep Matoo’s mobile phone on January 28. As a result officers attended the defendant’s house in Stratford Road and arrested him.
However O’Hanlon pleaded not guilty to the charge but after Mr Matoo produced a copy of the original message, proceedings were halted by District Judge Nigel Cadbury.
Members of the press and public were asked to leave the court while O’Hanlon and his solicitor listened to the recording.
When proceedings resumed the defendant pleaded guilty to the charge of racial abuse.
His defence said O’Hanlon had been drinking.
Judge Cadbury said “Credit should be given for changing your plea and I take into account that this was a message over the phone and not face to face. I also take into account that it was out of character and you had been drinking but that is no excuse.”
O’Hanlon was fined £100 and ordered to pay compensation of £100 to Mr Matoo. £60 costs and pay a £15 victim surcharge.