$15k payout for security officer in race abuse case

$15k payout for security officer in race abuse case

A Singaporean security officer is in line for a five-figure compensation payout after he was racially abused in Australia.

Mr R. Kanapathy, 55, was branded "a Singaporean p***k", accused of having "short man syndrome" and told to go back where he came from, during the rant by a female lawyer.

He will now receive A$12,500 (S$14,600) after an Australian court found that her tirade was racist because it was linked to his country of origin.

The argument broke out in 2009 after the lawyer Megan Maree in de Braekt refused to be searched before entering the Central Law Courts building in Perth.

When the security officer told her to comply or leave, she began to swear at him.

Ms de Braekt - who was said to have a history of abusing officers - later allowed herself to be searched.

But she continued to insult Mr Kanapathy as she walked away.

The married security officer - who spent 13 years in the Singapore Armed Forces - was so upset he had to seek medical treatment which has cost him up to A$3,000 over the last four years.

Mr Kanapathy testified that he felt humiliated and hurt as the lawyer made her remarks in a raised voice and there were several other security officers and members of the public present.

Ms de Braekt denied the claims and "bitterly contested" the civil proceedings. However, she was found liable last week.

"This case was not one of an inappropriate racist workplace joke," wrote Judge Toni Lucev in his judgment grounds. "Rather it is a case of a person abused in a public place whilst carrying out duties assigned to ensure public safety and protection of a court building."

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