Man denies 'racially abusing' BBC News reporter ahead of live broadcast

A man has denied racially abusing a BBC News reporter and her crew as they waited to go on air on Sunday night.

Sima Kotecha had been preparing to go live from Leicester city centre with reaction to Boris Johnson’s lockdown update, but the broadcast was cancelled, guests sent home and the incident reported to police.

She later tweeted that it was a “snapshot of what journalists sometimes encounter during live broadcasting”, adding it was “not always easy”.

Russell Rawlingson, of Glenfield Road, Leicester, appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court today and pleaded not guilty to causing racially aggravated alarm or distress, according to PA.

The 50-year-old was granted conditional bail until a pre-trial hearing at Leicester Crown Court on 15 June.

A BBC News spokesperson said on Sunday night: “We will not tolerate racism or abuse of our staff.”

Picture: Twitter/Sima Kotecha

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