Man charged after reporter Sima Kotecha allegedly racially abused

May 12, 2020

A man has been charged after a BBC reporter said she and her team were racially abused before a live broadcast.

Sima Kotecha said they faced "racist and abusive behaviour" as the crew prepared to interview people in Leicester city centre on Sunday after Boris Johnson's coronavirus lockdown announcement.

Russell Rawlingson, 50, of Glenfield Road, Leicester, was charged with using threatening, abusive and insulting words and behaviour to cause harassment, alarm and distress, Leicestershire Police said.

He was arrested at his home on Monday night and will appear via video link at Leicester Magistrates' Court today.

Ms Kotecha's guests were sent home after the team was forced to cancel the segment and the alleged incident was reported to the police.

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A BBC spokesman said: "While preparing to broadcast, our reporter, her production team and guests were subjected to racist and abusive behaviour.

"We will not tolerate racism or abuse of our staff."

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