Heathrow: Racist businessman told passenger to ‘go back to his own country’ after sitting in his seat in BA lounge
A businessman told another passenger to “go back to his country” in an airport lounge. The 69-year-old was arrested for the racist outburst, in which he said ‘Chinese people are arrogant’.
When confronted by salon manager Markku Tynkkynen, 69, used racial slurs, said victim ‘shouldn’t be in this salon’ and ‘should go back to his country where he belongs “. He was quickly arrested and thrown into a cell for the night.
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The director of the paper company, from Helsinki, Finland, admitted to harassing Jain Wu in a British Airways lounge at Heathrow Airport on November 11 last year. Tynkkynen said he was “upset” because Mr Wu was sitting in his seat, Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court heard.
Prosecutor Melania Drozdowska said: “On November 11, 2021 at around 4 p.m., the victim, Mr Wu, was seated in the British Airways business lounge in Terminal 3 at Heathrow Airport waiting for his flight to Barcelona. He said he needed to charge his phone. and went to sit in an area where there were charging stations. He sat there for half an hour and checked his emails .
The court heard that he was approached by Tynkkynen who told him, “You must be Chinese, so arrogant. Why are you sitting here? There are so many seats, why are you sitting here?”
Ms Drozdowska said: “He looked up from his computer and couldn’t believe what he heard. He said he didn’t say anything back and was in complete shock. accused sat opposite and said ‘you should go home to your own country and learn some manners. The accused then got up and moved to another seating area. The victim then got up and spoke to a British Airways duty manager and reported the incident.”
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It was said the manager then spoke to Tynkkynen about the “unacceptable” language used. Tynkkynen told him he had been sitting in the living room but had gone shopping and left his things near the seat – but when he returned Mr Wu was sitting in his chair.
The prosecutor said: “He spoke to the defendant and explained that it was unacceptable to make racist comments and the defendant said: ‘He’s a dwarf. This dwarf should not be in this living room. He should return to his country where he belongs”.
The police arrived and arrested Tynkkynen and he spent the night in a police cell. Tynkkynen admitted making the comments to Mr Wu, but denied calling him “ch**k” to the British Airways service manager.
The magistrates decided that making a racial slur about someone if they were not within earshot would not affect the conviction and therefore a trial would not be necessary. Prosecutors said Mr. Wu was also briefed and accepted the basis of Tynkkynen’s plea.
According to Helsinki-based consultancy Visionhunters, Tynkkynen is a partner and executive vice president. Tynkkynen was fined £1,713 and court costs totaling £276. He was also ordered to pay the victim £200 compensation.