Review ordered into British police probe of race attack

July 1st, 2008 - 6:26 pm ICT by IANS  


London, July 1 (IANS) An urgent review has been ordered into why the British police took a month to launch an investigation into a racist attack on an Asian caterer who had a glass smashed into his face at a birthday party. The attack on Sanjeev Subramanian occurred after a millionaire’s racist taunts at his daughter’s 18th birthday turned the lavish party into a “football riot” that spilled out to the front drive, Guildford Crown Court was told Monday.

Subramanian, who was catering at the champagne reception for 150 guests, was so badly wounded in the mass brawl he needed plastic surgery.

The party at businessman Mark Chopping’s Surrey mansion April 7 last year turned into a mass brawl after he received his guests with the words: “Come this way. It’s 4 pounds for blacks and 2 pounds for whites.”

He then made other racist remarks on the microphone that outraged many of his guests, who later confronted him on the dance floor.

During the subsequent melee, a screaming mob yelled racist abuse at Subramanian and told him to “go back to the bush”.

One of the guests, Nicky Chequer, smashed a glass into his face when he went to the aid of a badly beaten guest.

Chequer was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Subramanian. He was bailed until July 25 for sentencing.

However, the investigation is now subject to a review by the police after it emerged that Surrey Police only investigated the assault after Subramanian’s local MP Paul Burstow intervened on his behalf a month later.

Subramanian told the court: “I had my face hanging off, you could see my cheekbone and I was covered in blood and a policeman came up to me and said, ‘If you want to leave it at that, we will leave it at that’.”

“I thought they would take it more seriously than that. Even the paramedic looked shocked.”

Burstow said Monday: “The injuries were horrific. I took up his complaint with the police about the manner of the investigation. It lacked any real drive and determination to uncover who was responsible.”

Birthday girl Cydney Chopping, a model, fought back tears as she blamed her father for ruining her birthday and causing all the trouble with his “racist” jokes.

“I hate him with a passion. I didn’t speak to my dad for four months. My mum and dad were going to get divorced,” she added.

Neville Blackwood of Surrey Police said, “This has been an extensive enquiry in order to identify the person responsible for inflicting the horrific injuries on Mr. Subramanian.”

“I hope the verdict goes some way to help Sanjeev and his family put the events that occurred on that night behind them.”

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