A former Perth lawyer who humiliated a security supervisor at the Central Law Courts by racially abusing him has been ordered to pay the officer $12,500 compensation.
A Federal Circuit Court decision found Megan in de Braekt engaged in unlawful conduct under the Racial Discrimination Act when she told the security officer she knew he was from Singapore, he ought to go back to Singapore and that people like him were "not needed here".
The tirade, which included Ms in de Braekt calling the officer a "Singaporean prick" before labelling him a "prick" about another six times, was sparked after she refused a request for a security search after she bypassed the routine screening to enter the court on January 16, 2009.
The incident was one of numerous matters the Supreme Court considered before a judgment in April that stripped Ms in de Braekt of her right to work as a lawyer by ordering her name be removed from the roll of legal practitioners.
In the Federal Circuit Court decision on Wednesday, Judge Toni Lucev found the security officer was hurt and humiliated as a result of Ms in de Braekt's offensive behaviour towards him because of his national origin.
Judge Lucev said the case, which went to the court after the Australian Human Rights Commission resolved there was no prospect of conciliation, had been "bitterly contested" by Ms in de Braekt.
He said the abuse, which constituted unlawful discrimination in front of other security officers and in public, so upset the officer his doctor referred him for psychological treatment.
"It is evident from both the meaning of the word and the manner and context of its use by Ms in de Braekt that, viewed objectively, it was likely to and did offend, insult and humiliate the officer," Judge Lucev said.
He said it was clear the abuse was based on the officer's national origin."A lawyer entering a court building and having their bag checked for security purposes is almost the last person from whom a security officer performing security checks as a public service and in the public interest might expect abuse, particularly unlawful racial abuse," the judge said