Two men cleared of Northern Line racism charges after incident with Muswell Hill councillor

Jurors were shown an image of Mark Lewis and Gary Forbes taken by Cllr Ogiehor on the night in quest

Jurors were shown an image of Mark Lewis and Gary Forbes taken by Cllr Ogiehor on the night in question last June. Picture: Julia Ogiehor - Credit: Archant

Two man accused of racially-aggravated harassment on a Northern Line tube have been acquitted.

Julia Ogiehor. Picture: Liberal Democrats

Julia Ogiehor. Picture: Liberal Democrats - Credit: Archant

Mark Lewis, 53, and Gary Forbes, 49, were on trial over a confrontation with Muswell Hill councillor Julia Ogiehor last June.

On Friday afternoon a jury at Guildford Crown Court found the pair not guilty, while also clearing Mr Lewis of a charge of racially-aggravated common assault.

Earlier the court heard how the incident, on June 21 last year, saw Mr Forbes, of Ballards Lane, Finchley, ask Cllr Ogiehor: “Where are you from?”

During the trial elements of the conversation which happened afterwards were disputed,

The confrontation lasted around ten minutes, as the train travelled between Camden Town where Mr Forbes and Mr Lewis had been drinking, and East Finchley, when Cllr Ogiehor left the carriage.

Mr Lewis, of High Road, Whetstone, was accused of grabbing Cllr Ogiehor’s hand at one stage. He denied this had been intentional, and the jury agreed in clearing him of the assault charge.

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Afterwards, Cllr Ogiehor said she was “absolutely devastated” by the verdict.

READ MORE: Defendant denies Northern Line racism, says he spoke to councillor ‘because she was attractive’READ MORE: Men stand trial accused of racially-aggravated harassment of Black councillor on Northern line tube

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