A French student who carried a knife to a nightclub was freed by judges after claiming he feared xenophobic attacks in a post-Brexit Britain.
Phillippe Roubert, 20, was charged by authorities with having a knife in a public place after attempting to enter a nightclub in Exeter last December, where he studies as a student.
His lawyer, Deborah Minett, asked magistrates to take an “exceptionally lenient view” as he feared xenophobic attacks in the aftermath of the 2016 Brexit vote.
“He used to hear stories about how dangerous the streets of Britain were and animosity to people from foreign countries,” Minnett claimed. “This is in the background of the Brexit vote when he first started his degree and disproportionate reporting in the press.”
“This worried him. He didn’t realize we had an excellent police force and stringent laws,” she continued.
“There is no way that knife would have been brandished. The knife offered him some reassurance on the back of some press reporting and views he held wrongly.”
Magistrates eventually said they felt satisfied by his reasons for carrying the knife and gave him a conditional discharge.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 29, 2016
Following the EU referendum in 2016, left-wing politicians aggressively promoted claims of a “hate crime” surge, even though there is little statistical evidence to support this.
However, overall knife crime has risen dramatically over the past year by around 26 per cent, although the total number arrests has fallen as police forces focus on ‘hate crime’ investigations instead.