A PARTYGOER who "blacked up" for a works Christmas party has been cleared of a race hate crime on appeal,

Brian Davies, 62, of Barry, dressed in costume from 1950s TV show The Black and White Minstrel Show.

A court heard maintenance man Davies donned black gloves and painted his face black at a work party.

He then danced around the table singing songs from the show with "the majority aimed" at black colleague Loretta Doyley.

Davies was found guilty of racially aggravated harassment and using threatening or abusive behaviour at Cardiff Magistrate’s Court in February.

But he fought his conviction by claiming he wasn’t racist at Cardiff Crown Court, on Thursday, May 30, and said he had been "naive and stupid."

He said: "I went to the fancy dress shop in Barry. Originally, I was going to dress up as Michael Jackson to do Thriller but there was no way I could get the music to do the dance.

“So, I asked about the Black and White minstrels and the shop owner showed me how to do it.

“They never mentioned anything - they even offered me whiter cream to paint the circles.

“I know I am naive and stupid and dumb, but I wasn’t intending to be racist - it was just a laugh, a bit of fun.”

Davies insisted he would “never dream” of doing anything to upset Mrs Doyley - a “dear friend” who he described as his “second mum”.

The court heard Davies had organised the party for health workers at the Coopers Carvery in Ely, Cardiff, in December.

He was captured on video with a blacked up face, wearing a white boater hat with black gloves as well as a white coat.

Davies then sang and danced his way around a table of colleagues holding a white cane - also singing Swanee and Old Man River.

The performance bore resemblance to 1930s entertainer Al Jolson who often performed with a blackface.

Ms Doyley said: “I turned round and saw Brian had painted his face black and there were bits around his eyes and mouth still white.

“I just felt really, really embarrassed.”

Davies was fined £120 by magistrates and ordered to pay £300 in costs as well as a £30 victim surcharge.

But judge David Wynn Morgan upheld his appeal.

In his judgement, Judge Wynn Morgan said Davies said: "is not a man of profound intelligence, wisdom, or judgement" and had behaved "deplorably".

He said: "The court has reached the conclusion after initial scepticism, that having heard his evidence that the appellant's intention was to entertain and not to cause upset.

"He is not a man of profound intelligence, wisdom, or judgement.

"The fact that his behaviour did cause upset, or the fact that he should have foreseen that it may cause upset, is not a basis for conviction.

"The court does not emphatically condone his behaviour. The court deplores it. The court found the experience of watching the recorded evidence excruciating.

"What took place here was a grotesque lapse of taste.

"His behaviour was crass to the point of ignorance. It merits the criticism it has attracted."

Judge Wynn Morgan also praised Miss Doyley for "the dignity that she showed during the incident itself and while giving evidence."

He added: "The natural reaction is sympathy to her."