Asian Labour canvasser ‘told to vote BNP’

A Dagenham man told an Asian Labour canvasser to “vote BNP as they will send you back to where you came from”, a court heard.

Jamie Sprought, 21, told British-born Denis Fernando: “Our forefathers were from here, yours are not,” five days before last year’s general election.

Shaven-headed Sprought, of Bromhall Road, later hurled further abuse towards Mr Fernando who had been trying to deliver a Labour party letter to the defendant’s mother in Dagenham, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Matthew Dalton said: “On May 1 2010 Mr Denis Fernando was delivering election letters for the Labour party in the Bromhall Road area of Dagenham.

“He approached Bromhall Road. Sitting close to the front door were two white males.

“He had a letter to deliver to the lady whom he believed to be called Pamela.

“The defendant said to Mr Fernando: “No junk mail”.

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“Mr Fernando said: “I have a letter for Pamela from the Labour party”, to which Mr Sprought replied: “We vote Conservative”.

“He asked Mr Fernando if he would be voting Labour, to which Mr Fernando responded that he would.

“Mr Sprought said: “You should vote BNP as they will send you back to where you came from”.

“Mr Fernando said he was from this country.

“Mr Sprought said: “Our forefathers were from here, yours are not”.

About 20 minutes later, Sprought allegedly renewed his verbal assault on Mr Fernando who was canvassing in nearby Lodge Avenue.

Mr Fernando reported Sprought and he was later questioned at Barking police station.

Sprought allegedly told officers: “I told him we all vote BNP around here” but he denied racially abusing Mr Fernando.

“He’s a liar, playing the race card all the time”.”

Sprought denies causing racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress.

The trial continues.