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Northumbria Uni law students’ anger at first year who posted boyfriend’s racist rant on Instagram

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85

Both since handed police cautions

Screenshots of the Instagram stories featuring the law student and her boyfriend

A Northumbria University law student has come under fire from her classmates after she posted her boyfriend’s racist rant on her Instagram, in a move which has led to them both receiving a police caution.

Personal trainer Richard Heslop can be seen making a number of racist and offensive remarks in viral footage which appeared on his law student girlfriend’s Instagram story. The first year undergrad, who Legal Cheek doesn’t see much point in naming, has been widely criticised online over her failure to challenge Heslop’s rant during the footage, on several occasions even smiling. She doesn’t, however, make any offensive comments herself.

The student is understood to be in her first year of her LLB (Masters) at Northumbria Uni and appears to have deleted her Instagram account. This comes after the original clip was re-shared widely across various social media platforms. Part of the footage (embedded below — please note it contains extremely offensive content) remains online via an unassociated account.

Responding to the social media backlash, before appearing to delete his own Instagram account, the law student’s boyfriend purportedly offered the following explanation: “I think by the tone of my voice on that vid you realise I’m impersonating someone and you can tell I’m not being serious.”

The post has sparked outrage among the law student’s peers. In open letter to Northumbria University’s vice chancellor, professor Andrew Wathey, final year law student Mohima Khan says:

“For someone that is studying a law degree, this behaviour is not compatible with the profession, or any profession as a matter of fact. Northumbria University expects students to conduct themselves in a proper manner in line with the policies and regulations. For a law degree, especially the MLaw course that is regulated by a professional body, the actions of this student clearly demonstrates their character and suitability is in need of questioning. As an aspiring member of the legal profession, [the law student] has shown a lack of understanding and integrity.”

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Accompanying the letter is an online petition which has so far received 487 signatures. The open letter continues:

“Following the circulation of the video over social media platforms, I cannot imagine that [the law student] will have much of a respectable legal career to pursue at all, given the behaviour raises ‘fitness to practice’ concerns. To allow this student to continue on with a degree, where the profession holds them in a position of trust with the public, will be an absolute disgrace and mockery. Northumbria must not condone this behaviour.”

In a more serious development, Northumbria Police today confirmed that both individuals who featured in the video had been issued police cautions.

“Today the two people who featured in the video attended the police station and were interviewed by detectives,” a spokesperson for Northumbria Police told Legal Cheek. “Both individuals apologised for their behaviour and were remorseful over the impact of their actions, they have both been issued police cautions.”

The spokesperson continued:

“The type of language used in the video is completely unacceptable and we have made that clear to these two individuals. Whenever we are made aware of discrimination of this nature then will not hesitate to take action. We would encourage anyone who becomes aware of this type of behaviour contacts police and we will treat it as a hate crime.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Northumbria University said: “After being made aware of posts shared on social media involving someone who is alleged to be one of our students, we immediately reported this incident to the police. We also announced that we would be undertaking our own internal investigation, following the conclusion of the police investigation.”

It added: “The University will investigate in line with its own formal disciplinary processes, outlined in our student regulations. Appropriate action will be taken in line with our policies. Northumbria University does not condone any of the comments in the posts. They do not reflect the views of the University. We do not tolerate any form of abuse, harassment, or discrimination.”

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85 Comments

Teemu Buendia

This is terrifying. He was quite clearly messing around and impersonating a complete moron (the clue is in the voice) and these were not his views. She was incredibly stupid sharing it but this is not evidence that she is racist or that it’s even remotely fair to cancel her from being able to try a career in law. She is so young, why are people so desperate to ruin someone’s life over something so minor?

(4)(2)

Anon

What the hell is “ LLB (Masters) ”?

(2)(0)

Big Rig

It’s a waste of paper.

Not even an LLM. It’s an MLaw.

(0)(0)

Ke

If her behaviour had nothing to do with criminality then she should not have accepted a caution, which is effectively an admission that she behaved criminally. I see that most people agree.

But, I do wonder whether it was a good use of police time. I had my car damaged a few years ago, just after the suspected perpetrator returned from holiday. Whilst he was on holiday I was sent some vile texts related to my taking to court his girl friend’s employer. His girl friend aided and abetted their unlawful activities. The police did turn up but failed to do any follow up of the evidence I had. But, that might have taken a little work.

This case with this couple was easy, ‘invent’ a crime by exaggerating the wrongdoing to increase their clear up rate to make them look better at fighting crime.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

There are decisions of the SDT against black solicitors who have accepted police cautions and subsequently been removed from the roll of solicitors permanently (one for a minor altercation outside a law firm over parking).

Let’s see how the SRA behave when it comes to a white student.

#BLM

(2)(6)

Anonymous

Well as these things are a matter of public record, perhaps you can identify specifically your best examples? Expect you won’t though.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Don’t hold you breath.

(2)(0)

BlackKThopkins

And if anyone does will you stand up for #BLM or carry on NGAF?

(0)(0)

John Boyd

This guy hit the nail on the head with his coments https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_p8YOs9eT4s

(0)(0)

John B

This guy hits the nail on the head with his video about Richard Heslop https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_p8YOs9eT4s

(0)(0)

bob

That guy is ugly as sin.

(1)(0)

Anon 1

Looks like some white people are actually getting annoyed that racists are getting caught and there’s an outcome for their actions… Bad time for racists… Good time to be a lefty 😂😂😂😂😂😂

(0)(5)

Anonymous

When this silliness is over and after we have the backlash from the inevitable uptick in corona deaths from the stupid protests, ask yourself this “Who will control capital and production?”. It is always a good time to be on the right. How did you lefties do in that election we had in December?

(2)(1)

Big Rig

Did you hear about the student who was so thick, that they didn’t even get into Northumbria?

Just kidding – they’d take anyone.

(0)(0)

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