Lifestyle & Belief

Woman fined for 'racist' rant in which she accuses New Zealand woman of being an Australian


Two young men leave, one wearing a New Zealand flag — which looks almost exactly like the Australian flag — after a service of remembrance at the Cenotaph on Whitehall on April 25, 2011 in London, England.


Dan Kitwood

A woman who accused her New Zealand neighbor of being an Australian has been deemed racist by a British court and ordered to pay a fine.

Czech-born Petra Mills, 31, was found guilty of racially aggravated public disorder after yelling at neighbour in Chelsea O'Reilly, a dual British-New Zealand citizen who lived next door in Macclesfield, south of Manchester.

According to Fairfax New Zealand, O'Reilly told the court:

"She called me a stupid fat Australian b****. Because of my accent there can be some confusion over my nationality. She knew I was from New Zealand. She was trying to be offensive. I was really insulted. She said she would kill my dog. Bizarrely she then blew raspberries at me like a child."

Australia and New Zealand are geographic neighbors and share close cultural and historic ties.

Australia and New Zealand fought in the two World Wars, including the heoroic but ill-fated landing at ANZAC Cove in Gallipoli on April 25, 1915, where more than 50,000 Allied troops were killed by Turkish forces. 

According to Britain's Daily Mail, police officers witnessed the racist rant while O'Reilly was giving a statement to them about a domestic incident between Mills and her husband.

Two officers told Macclesfield magistrates' court that they had heard Mills use the word "Australian" during a drunken rant.

Mills agreed she had shouted, but denied she was being racist:

"I did not use the word 'Australian'. I used to live with an Australian person. She was very nice."

However, chairman of the bench Brian Donohue fined Mills 110 pounds (about $175) for racially aggravated public disorder and 200 pounds ($318) for assaulting a police officer during her arrest.

She was also ordered to pay both her victims $80 for court costs.