An heir to the Portman property empire has been found guilty of racially abusing a campaigner against anti-Semitism and calling his Jewish wife a ‘greedy, grasping, thieving and lying criminal manipulator of the system’.
Harrow-educated Piers Portman, whose family is worth £2billion, called Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAS) CEO Gideon Falter ‘Jewish scum’ at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 14 June 2018.
Portman, the son of Edward, 9th Viscount Portman of Bryanston, abused Mr Falter as he was leaving the building after a hearing involving anti-Semitic campaigner Alison Chabloz-Tyler.
He had sent CAS a letter on 11 January 2018, referencing ‘the Talmud-inspired playing the victim’, Southwark Crown Court heard.
Portman, 50, abused his own wife Tracy in the letter, stating: ‘I am currently married, for 13 years to a greedy, grasping, thieving and lying criminal manipulator of the system that also happens to be Jewish.
‘Lately, my wife has taken it upon herself to see her husband as an asset and owing to my disobedience, she has hired the services of the Baroness of Belgravia, Fiona Shackleton, another greedy, grasping and lying manipulator of the system that happens to be Jewish.’
The letter ended: ‘Can you please tell me what exactly your charity involves? Since when is collecting donations to force your opinion on others an act of charity? Why don’t you leave the poor middle-aged woman alone and come perform your charity on me?’
The jury convicted him of religiously aggravated harassment with intent after deliberating for 10 hours and nine minutes.
Piers Portman (pictured), 50, the son of Edward, 9th Viscount Portman of Bryanston, criticised his wife Tracy, and her lawyer, Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia in a letter to Campaign Against Antisemitism in 2018
Mr Falter had told jurors he ‘had just walked through a Who’s Who of Holocaust deniers, Neo-Nazis, extremists’ when Portman approached him as he got out of the lift at Westminster Magistrates court.
He said: ‘I didn’t want to give him my hand, I said: ”I’m sorry, I can’t shake your hand, because I don’t know who you are.”
‘He lost his temper, he got quite aggressive. He said: ”I’m Piers Portman, I’ve written to you before! Come after me you Jewish scum, come and persecute me, come and get me!”
‘I felt cornered in the lift, Portman followed me, continuing what he was saying. Portman tried to leave and I put my arm out and said: ”You can’t leave, wait for the police.” ‘
Mr Falter said Portman was ‘very, very enraged.’
Court security then let Portman leave before police officers arrived at the scene, and was gone when police tried to locate him.
Twice married father-of-three Portman denied using the words ‘Jewish scum’ and said: ‘It’s not in my nature or character. I’m an honourable British man who was brought up to show respect to a fellow human.
Campaign Against Antisemitism CEO Gideon Falter had refused to shake Portman’s outstretched hand at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in June 2018 when the abuse took place
‘In my opinion the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism have colluded with each other, they’ve created witnesses that are not independent.
‘They’ve agreed upon statements to persecute myself and there are many previous examples. The allegations are desperate, they’re defamation, they’re less than honourable.’
But the jury rejected his denials and convicted him of religiously aggravated harassment with intent after deliberating for 10 hours and nine minutes.
Bespectacled Portman, of The Portman Estate, Portman Square, central London, denied the charge which carries the maximum sentence of two years jail.
Wearing a black bomber jacket, black trousers, and black Chelsea boots, he smiled as the verdict was announced.
He was released on bail ahead of sentence on 22 October but Judge Gregory Perrins warned: ‘I’m not going to give you any indication now as to what your sentence will be.’
Chabloz-Tyler, 57, was convicted of three charges for posting offensive songs about the Holocaust and handed a suspended jail sentence in May 2018.
In the songs, the music teacher who refers to herself a ‘historical revisionist’, sings: ‘Did the Holocaust ever happen? ‘Was it just a bunch of lies? Seems that some intend to pull the wool over our eyes.’
She said Auschwitz is ‘a theme park just for fools’ and ‘the gassing zone, a proven hoax, indoctrination rules.’
Earlier this year Chabloz-Tyler was convicted of using ‘grossly offensive terminology’ on a US podcast she promoted via a far-right social media website called Gab.
She was sentenced to 18 weeks jail in April but her sentence was increased to 32 weeks last month after she lost her appeal at Southwark Crown Court.