Scottish Man on Trial for Refusing Treatment from Indian-origin Optician

Eric Greene told British-Indian optician Sarah Kerr that Manchester attack was the last straw for him.


A Scottish man is on trial for racism in the United Kingdom after he told an optician of Indian-Pakistani origin that he would “rather be seen by a white person” at a optical retail store in Lanarkshire.

Eric Greene, 58, visited the Lanarkshire branch of a British optical retail chain when he was asked by the employee, Sarah Kerr, to join her at her desk. Kerr noticed that Greene looked hesitant but was flabbergasted when he said to her: “I don’t mean to sound impersonal but I’d rather be seen by a white person.”

Greene pulled down his t-shirt to show he was wearing a Star of David necklace and added, “I’m sorry but Manchester was the last straw for me,” according to Independent.

The police was called and Greene was arrested after the staff heard the outburst. He was asked to leave by the outraged staff. The appointment was on May 24 —  two days after the Manchester Arena bombing on May 22, which left 22 people dead at an Ariana Grande concert.

The Reactions

Sheriff Nikola Stewart called Greene a “bigot” and went on to say, according to the Scotsman,  “Charlottesville is what happens if you don’t take this kind of thing seriously.”

According to the Scotsman, Greene appeared at Lanark Sheriff Court and admitted to a racist breach of peace. When he was being interviewed, he reiterated that Manchester was the last straw for him as he had a family living there.

Sheriff Stewart was quoted as saying in the report: “I’m shocked and I think everybody in this courtroom is shocked by that utterly bigoted and prejudicial narration.”

“Prejudice is a cancer which eats away at society and stops it being a place in which we feel safe,” she added.

Kathleen McNulty, who is defending Greene, said: “His wife says his filter has gone but I’m not trying to diminish what was said to this lady…he spent time in the cells as a result and this will now follow him.”

Greene will be sentenced next month.

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