Man jailed for racist bus rant
One man is in custody and another is facing jail after a racist outburst towards a French woman on a Melbourne bus in 2012.PT0M32S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3103g 620 349 January 17, 2014
One man is in jail and another is awaiting sentence for racially abusing a French woman on a Melbourne bus, in violent, expletive-ridden tirades that gained international attention.
Hayden Stirling Stewart, 25, was taken into custody on Friday for his rant against Fanny Desaintjores and her friends while on a bus travelling between Mordialloc and Highett on November 11, 2012.
David Robert Mathew Graham, 36, also faces a jail term for what magistrate Jennifer Goldsborough described as the most vile, horrible and violent language she had heard in 17 years of sitting on the bench.
Fanny Desaintjores, inset, with David Graham, who abused her aboard the bus. Photo: YouTube
The tirades were captured on video with a passenger's mobile phone and gained international notoriety. The video had been viewed more than four million times since it was uploaded to YouTube, Moorabbin Magistrates Court heard.
Stewart, his then partner, Alixx Guest, and Graham threatened and abused Ms Desaintjores when she and her friends began singing in French, the court heard.
Stewart said he would cut the woman with a box cutter, while Graham told her to "speak English or die" and said he would cut her breasts off with a filleting knife. Graham also made reference to the colour of the woman's skin and made references to slavery, the court heard.
David Graham outside court. Photo: Ken Irwin
Senior Constable Paul Collins, prosecuting, said when Stewart and Guest got off the bus with their daughter, Stewart smashed a window of the bus with his first, covering passengers in glass.
Stewart, 25, of Hampton East, previously pleaded guilty to threatening to inflict serious injury, behaving in an insulting manner in public and causing intentional damage.
He was taken into custody and will be assessed for mental-health issues before he is formally sentenced on March 20.
Graham was annoyed at having to catch a bus between Mordialloc and Caulfield railway stations when he abused the woman, mainly while he spoke to a friend on his mobile phone, the court heard.
Defence counsel Manny Nicolosi agreed the language Graham used was disgusting, and said his client had been sacked from his job as a builder's labourer and evicted from his rental property in the aftermath.
He said Graham had suffered immense embarrassment from his actions that day.
"Andy Warhol said everyone once had their 15 minutes of fame, but this man has had his 15 months of infamy," Mr Nicolosi said.
Graham pleaded guilty to making a threat to inflict serious injury and behaving in an offensive manner in public. Two other charges were struck out.
Mr Nicolosi said his client had had a problem with alcohol and had made substantial efforts to stop drinking since the incident.
Ms Goldsborough indicated she would likely send Graham to jail given the violent, sexist and offensive nature of his remarks. She said racist comments were the least of his concerns given the threats he made were aggravated because there were about 20 people on the bus, including children.
Graham said he had spent periods living on the streets since being evicted.
"Anything you can do is nothing compared to what I've been through the past 12 months," he told the magistrate.
Graham was bailed to return to court for sentence on March 20.
Ms Goldsborough said Graham also needed to undergo mental-health assessment before he was sentenced.