Tube passenger jailed over racist diatribe

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The Independent Online

A drunken passenger who hurled persistent racist abuse at fellow Tube travellers in a tirade that became an internet sensation has been jailed for a total of 21 weeks.

Jacqueline Woodhouse, 42, launched an expletive-laden rant at passengers on London's Central line, telling those seated near her: "I used to live in England and now I live in the United Nations."

A seven-minute video of the verbal assault was uploaded onto YouTube and viewed more than 200,000 times.

At Westminster Magistrates' Court in central London, District Judge Michael Snow condemned Woodhouse's outburst, saying: "Anyone viewing it would feel a deep sense of shame that our citizens could be subject to such behaviour." The judge told Woodhouse she would serve half her jail term behind bars and imposed an order banning her from London Underground stations and the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) – or using the Tube or DLR – while drunk, for a five-year period.

The defendant sat with her head bowed, occasionally nodding as District Judge Snow issued his damning remarks. The judge said her "grossly offensive" language reflected her hostility to her fellow passengers.

One traveller who witnessed the outburst was left so shocked by Woodhouse's aggression that he no longer felt he could interact with white people on the Tube.

Another man, who is of Pakistani heritage, felt victimised because of his "cultural background" and was left wishing he could afford a car so he could avoid having to take the Underground.