Student ordered to pay more than £800 after ‘racist chant’

Steven Ramsell, Solicitor Advocate and Associate in our Criminal Defence department, represented Mr Joe Tivnan in a case that attracted national news interest.

Mr Tivnan, a student at Nottingham Trent University, pleaded Guilty to an offence of Racially Aggravated Disorderly Conduct, contrary to s5 Public Order Act 1986 at Nottingham Magistrates Court on the 24th May 2018. He accepted making racist and abusive comments within student accommodation, overheard by other students, including Miss Rufaro Chisango. He was sentenced to a £200 fine, £500 compensation for Miss Chisango, £85 prosecution costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

This was a serious case that attracted national news interest from the moment the story broke. Mr Tivnan placed his trust in Bhatia Best Solicitors to represent him throughout the case. This allowed us to have Steven Ramsell meet with Mr Tivnan at an early stage and continue this representation through to Court.

This trust was shown to be well placed when a journalist reporting on the case stated “Tivnan is represented by Steven Ramsell, of Bhatia Best Solicitors. He’s a brilliant advocate. I often see him down at the Crown Court”.

The case of Mr Tivnan is a prime example of a young man, who committed a serious offence, recognising that fact and wishing to make a public, unreserved apology. He was able to do this through the skilled assistance of an experienced and capable advocate who was familiar with his case. It also demonstrates the wealth of experience and capability that we have within our Criminal Defence department to deal with such serious and high-profile cases.

In Court, Mr Tivnan made a personal, public apology, the full text of which appears below:

Nottingham Solicitor: Steve Ramsell

“I wish to make an unreserved, public apology both to Rufaro Chisango and to anyone else who has been affected by my behaviour in this case. I wish to make clear that what was said by me on 5th March 2018 was neither intended for, nor directed to, Rufaro.

What was said in the corridor that night was mutual repartee between me and a mixed-race friend, and it was never my intention for an outside party to overhear and believe it was aimed at them. However, I recognise that it was still unacceptable language to use in any situation.

I am ashamed of my behaviour and I am truly sorry for the offence that I have committed, and for the distress that I have caused. I would like for anyone who reads or hears this to know that I have taken this case very seriously indeed and will in the future think more carefully about my actions”

Joe was assisted at every stage of his case by our team of experienced and skilled representatives. This case highlights the importance of seeking proper assistance from a solicitor if you stand accused of any offence, whether guilty or not.

If you require any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0115 9503231.