Champion driver Jamie Spence fined almost £1,000 for calling a turban-wearing Heathrow Airport employee a ‘P**i’ during a racist rant over damage to his Range Rover.
Spence, 48, became enraged on 4 September last year after returning from a family trip to Spain to see £700 worth of damage to his car while collecting it from the airport’s ‘Meet & Greet’ service.
He attempted to drag Tarvinder Singh Ahluwalia, who was working in the Terminal 5 car park, to his black 4×4 to assess alleged scratches on the door mirror and alloy wheels before calling him a ‘P**i’ when he refused.
Spence had denied using the slur, claiming that he had instead called Mr Ahluwalia a ‘pr**k’.
He insisted: ‘I am not a racist’ after he was found guilty of the racist assault last Thursday.
The former British Formula Ford and Formula 3 champion, from Ingatestone, Essex, told the judge: ‘You are completely wrong’, before becoming visibly upset when he was fined £290, with £620 in costs and ordered to pay £50 in damages to Mr Ahluwalia, plus a £34 casualty allowance.
“He (Mr Ahluwalia) heard Mr Spence call him a P**i and called 999 and it was clear he was being called a P**i,” Ealing Magistrate Subash Ludhra announced during sentencing.
Jamie Spence (pictured), 48, became furious on 4 September last year after returning from a family trip to Spain to see £700 worth of damage to his car while collecting it from the airport’s ‘Meet & Greet’ service
Spence had returned from a two week holiday with partner Chantelle McGelligan and their young child and had collected the Range Rover from the airport’s ‘Meet & Greet’ valet parking.
“Actually, I noticed that the door mirror was damaged and that two of the wheels had braked,” he said during the trial.
‘I then asked the complainant if he could acknowledge that there was damage before I left.
He was a little abrupt and said, ‘Call the office. It has nothing to do with me.’
“I grabbed him by the arm, but not very firmly, and asked him to come and acknowledge the damage.”
Spence admitted that he swore at Mr Ahluwalia but insisted he did not use the racist statements.
“I turned and walked away and called him a: ‘F***ing p***k.’
“There was seven hundred pounds of damage and I was a little disappointed. I work hard for what I have, but I certainly didn’t attack him, hit his arm, or pull on his arm.
“It’s disappointing when you give your car to a company. They actually said they won’t pay for it.’
“I asked him three times and held his arm to lead him to the car,” Spence explained.
“He changed his story from me running and grabbing his hand into his arm.
‘His story has continued to develop and grow. I’m not a racist.’
But Mr Ahluwalia, who had a Punjabi interpreter when he testified, told the court: ‘He checked the car and said there was a scratch on the car.
“He came up to me and pulled my hands with a lot of force and I told him to leave me and take a picture of the scratch and send it to me.
“He didn’t abandon me, he pulled at me and I told him to leave me alone because there was a camera and witnesses.
“He didn’t hit me, he pulled me,” added Mr Ahluwalia, denying he exaggerated the incident.
“He told me, ‘You P**i.’ I think he thought I was a Muslim.
“This happened for the first time in my life. It made me feel really bad.’
Spence’s partner Chantelle, who had been waiting by the Range Rover, saw no physical contact, but told the trial she heard her fiancé’s words.
Spence, a former British Formula Ford and Formula 3 champion, from Ingatestone, Essex, told the judge: ‘You are completely wrong’, before becoming visibly upset when he was fined £290, with £620 in costs and ordered to pay £50 in damages to Mr Ahluwalia, plus a £34 casualty allowance. (Pictured: Ealing Magistrates Court)
She said, “I saw the wheels and the door mirror were damaged and I heard Jamie curse a little.
“I heard him swear, I think he said ‘twat’. He was clearly upset that the car had been damaged.’
Prosecutor Beata Murphy told the trial that it was 4:45 p.m. Saturday when Spence collected his vehicle.
She told the court: ‘The complainant told him to contact the manager on Monday.
The defendant grabbed the complainant’s right arm and demanded that he inspect the damage to the vehicle, but was unable to leave his desk, where he kept all of the other customers’ car keys.
“The defendant ran off with a woman and a child and the word ‘P**i’ was heard and the complainant called 999 and immediately reported it to the police.”
Spence’s attorney Natalie De-Merist told the court: “The defendant has a personality disorder and has difficulty regulating his emotions.
“When he made a statement, he said he was sorry he grabbed and cursed Mr. Ahluwalia in the first place.”
As the magistrates withdrew to consider their sentence, an obviously angry Spence said to Mrs. Murphy, “You killed me.”
He added: ‘This world is so bad. Everyone is out to cheat everyone. Take, take, take.
‘You have someone who doesn’t even speak English who only understands one word. I’m smoking.’
The magistrates learned that Spence has previous convictions for threatening behaviour; assault and obstruction of the police.
“The prosecution has proved their case,” said Mr Ludhra. “The attack was racially aggravated.”