EastEnders star ‘hurled race abuse’

Published: Wednesday 11th February 2015 by The News Editor

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EastEnders actress Linda Henry told a community warden “Do you know who I am? I’m Shirley”, before hurling racial abuse at her outside a Jamie Oliver restaurant, a court heard.

The 55-year-old, who plays Danny Dyer’s on-screen mother, Shirley Carter, in the BBC soap, is said to have launched into the tirade after being reprimanded for dropping a cigarette butt outside the premises.

The incident allegedly took place near Jamie’s Italian in Greenwich, south east London, on September 14 last year.

Thea Viney, prosecuting, told Bexley Magistrates’ Court that a black female warden and her black male colleague approached Henry and her partner after seeing them smoking in Nelson Road.

She added that when the Greenwich Town Council wardens challenged the actress, who has been charged under her married name Valiris, she told them they had no “photographic evidence”.

Ms Viney said: “(She) told her that throwing litter was a zero-tolerance offence in Greenwich Borough and the Crown say that Ms Valiris responded by saying ‘do you know who I am? I’m Shirley’.”

The court heard that, having previously refused to hand over any personal details, Henry now gave the warden limited information, including what the litter officer suspected to be a false postcode.

Henry is then said to have told her alleged victim: “Who do you think you are? Go away, f*** off, n*****.”

Henry denies one count of using threatening or abusive words that were likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress, and that the alleged offence was said to have been racially aggravated.

The actress, of Kelvington Road, south east London, appeared in court wearing a black suit and white shirt.

Supporting her in the public gallery was her former EastEnders co-star Cheryl Fergison, who played her on-screen best friend, Heather Trott, in the soap.

Henry, who has played feisty barmaid Shirley since 2006, is also known for her role as Yvonne Atkins in the ITV drama Bad Girls between 1999 and 2003.

Published: Wednesday 11th February 2015 by The News Editor

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