St Andrews anti-Jewish abuse appeal fails

A former St Andrews University undergraduate has failed in an attempt to overturn his conviction for racially abusing a Jewish student.

Paul Donnachie attacked Chanan Reitblat at a university hall of residence, desecrated an Israeli flag and called the Lithuanian-born supporter of Israel a “terrorist”.

Donnachie, of Blackpool, was sentenced to community service last September after being convicted of the attack, but appealed on the grounds that he believed the trial had not been conducted properly.

During the incident in March last year Donnachie told Mr Reitblat: “Israel is a terrorist state, the flag is a terrorist symbol, and you are a terrorist. Israel has no history here.”

He then put his hands down his trousers before wiping them on the Israeli flag.

At his original trial, Donnachie, now 21, argued that his attack was not a personal one against Mr Reitblat, or antisemitic, but that it was motivated by his political beliefs.

Last updated: 6:09pm, May 1 2012