N-word rap fan 'not a racist': Christopher Jones cleared by North Staffordshire Magistrates
RAP music fan Christopher Jones has been cleared by magistrates of shouting racist abuse in front of a black man – after arguing the word he used is just 'street slang'.
Police arrested the 43-year-old after hearing him shout the word 'nigger' towards a group of men, including the black man.
The sign-writer – who loves hip hop music – was later charged with using racially-aggravated words or behaviour.
But Mr Jones pleaded not guilty after arguing he regularly uses the word as part of his 'slang' on the streets around his Blurton home.
Mr Jones, of Orford Way, told magistrates: "I listen to hip hop music, it is just a standard word and not a racial thing to me at all. It is just the English language."
Now magistrates have cleared him after ruling he used the phrase as part of everyday 'parlance' and without hostility.
Mr Jones today stressed he is not a racist following his ordeal at North Staffordshire Magistrates' Court.
He told The Sentinel: "I probably have more black friends than I have white friends and this is just how I speak.
"I am not surprised that I went to court as the law has to flex its muscles.
"I am not a racist, it was used as slang. For me it is a term of endearment, not something racist.
"I like hip hop and it is a word that is used all the time in music.
"I can be sat with a black friend and I will say 'what up, nigger?', and it's a term of endearment."
Wife Andrea, aged 43, added: "He is not a troublemaker. We are in no way racist."
Mr Jones was arrested in September after a row broke out with a group of people when Mrs Jones suffered a serious hand injury outside their home.
He also kept using the term while he was in police custody.
His lawyer, Rob Holt, defending, said: "He is from an estate where the phrase is frequently used.
"This word has crept into the English language and is used on a regular basis.
"His use of the word is popular culture.
"He was clearly upset his wife had an injury to her hand. He is of the opinion he simply addressed these people as he addresses them in daily speak."
Magistrates dismissed the case after finding Mr Jones did not use the language to demonstrate hostility towards a group.
The chairman of the bench said: "We find the language used alleged by the prosecution, but he did not use it to demonstrate hostility towards a group, but used it in parlance.
"We do not find the defendant guilty and dismiss the case."
Anti-race campaigners today condemned the court ruling.
Colley Sykes, who helps to organise the annual Six Towns One City Carnival, which aims to promote multiculturalism, said: "The magistrates have made a mistake – you cannot just sling words like that around.
"It is the last word you should use towards someone who is black."