Manchester Evening News by Kate Weir | Wednesday, 2 May 2012 | Click here for original article
A former BNP candidate who racially harassed his German neighbour has walked free from court.
Roy West launched a foul-mouthed attack during a dispute about flags, crosses and poppies on the boundary of their homes.
Magistrates in Tameside heard that West, 47, who stood as the BNP candidate for Dukinfield during local elections on four occasions in the last five years, had put a display of poppies and flags facing the road outside his home to mark Armistice day last year.
But the court heard he later moved the display, which included multiple Union flags and other flags from the British Isles, so that it only faced the home of his next door neighbours Bernd Kugow and Susan Holt.
After almost four months of continuing to add to the display, in March this year Ms Holt challenged West about his actions.
The court was told it was during this exchange that West insulted Mr Kugow, who was born and raised in Germany, using the word ‘Kraut’.
Prosecuting, Sean Brady, said: "It (the display) is right between the two neighbours’ doors.
"It’s a very large garden on the other side but they are nowhere else other than by the front door.
"This is targeted deliberately at Mr Kugow who is German."
West, of Glenmore Grove, Dukinfield, denied racially aggravated harassment but was found guilty at an earlier hearing and has now been given a 12-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months. Magistrates also ordered him to carry our 100 hours of unpaid work, be subject to a 12-week curfew and pay £250 costs.
West, who is standing this year as an independent candidate in the council elections, has also been made subject to a restraining order forbidding him from contacting the victim or the victim’s partner.
Mr Brady told the court that West pleaded guilty to a similar charge in February 20009. On that occasion he told Mr Kugow to ‘**** off back to Krautland’.
Andrew Gilmore, defending West in the latest case, said: "The display of the cross is a cry of peace and I would respectfully say that he is not targeting the complainant."
He added that West and his partner, who rent the house from a housing trust, have now requested a different property.