English and Scots in race-bias tussle

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A CASE brought by an English couple who claim they were the victims of racial discrimination by a pub landlord and his wife in a Scottish village was adjourned yesterday after a legal wrangle over a similar case.

Lawyers for the publican and his wife, Colin and Jacqueline Pearson, called for the action to be suspended until another case involving the rugby commentator Mark Souster against BBC Scotland was concluded. Mr Souster, an Englishman, claims a racial motive was to blame for his failure to get a job but an appeal has been lodged at the Court of Session to rule whether there are ethnic differences between English and Scottish people and whether the 1976 Race Relations Act is applicable.

However, at Dumfries Sheriff Court yesterday, Sheriff Kenneth Barr said he could not hold up the action against the Pearsons to await the outcome of a case which could "go on for years", and he ordered a resumption on 28 May. The Pearsons are being sued for pounds 20,000 compensation by Frank and Sandra Walters who allege they were forced to quit their home in Clarencefield, near Annan, because of anti-English bias.