Lawyer fined for saying "she couldn't stand Jewish people"

By Anna Sheinman, May 10, 2013

A lawyer who said that she “couldn’t stand Jewish people” in an office rant in the presence of a Jewish colleague was found guilty of discrimination by a tribunal.

Danielle Morris, 34, has been fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £5,250 in costs for the remarks, which were made in 2009, said a judgment that was published this week.

Her comments came about after the assistant solicitor and mother of two took her baby to a medical centre and a man in traditional Orthodox Jewish dress had “caused a scene” and was subsequently dealt with before her.

Ms Morris later commented to a receptionist at her firm “I cannot stand Jewish people”. The comment was heard by a Jewish colleague, known only as Mrs S, who responded: “Please do not say that.” Ms Morris replied, referring to the incident at the medical centre: “I don’t care, I cannot stand them ever since an incident at the Bardoc.”

When Mrs S complained, Ms Morris denied making the comments. Mrs S then took legal action.

In the judgement released this week, Ms Morris’s lawyer said in her defence that she had “not been aware of the long history and persecution of the Jewish people and because of her age had had limited direct contact with those who had been familiar with the discovery of the Holocaust or the attitudes which had led to those events.”

The tribunal heard that she now had a “greater understanding of the offence that she had caused and the context in which her remarks could be seen”.

Last updated: 3:28pm, May 10 2013