Wealthy aristocrat who claimed he was an ‘honorable British gentleman’ jailed for calling campaigner ‘Jewish scum’

Southwark Crown Court, where Piers Portman was sentenced
Southwark Crown Court, where Piers Portman was sentenced (Photo by MEGA/GC Images)
  • Piers Portman, the youngest son of the 9th Viscount Portman, is an heir to a $US2.75 ($AU4) billion fortune.
  • He called Gideon Falter, CEO of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, “Jewish scum.”
  • He has been sentenced to four months imprisonment and has to pay a total fine of £20,000 ($US27,500 ($AU36,839)).

A wealthy British aristocrat has been sentenced to four months in prison and fined £20,000 ($US27,520.98 ($AU36,867)) for antisemitic hate speech.

Piers Portman, the youngest son of the 9th Viscount Portman, an heir to 110 acres of prime real estate in central London, was found guilty of calling Gideon Falter, Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Chief Executive, “Jewish scum” in a confrontation at a courthouse in 2018.

The Sunday Times Rich List of 2020 estimated that the Portman family fortune was worth £2 billion ($US2.75 ($AU4) billion).

In passing sentence against Portman at Southwark Crown Court on Friday, Judge Gregory Perrins said that Mr Portman has “strongly-held antisemitic beliefs” and that he had “deliberately targeted Mr. Falter because of his role in prosecuting Alison Chabloz.”

Chabloz was jailed in April 2020 after being convicted of broadcasting antisemitic songs that suggested the Holocaust was “a bunch of lies” and referred to Auschwitz as a “theme park”.

During the sentencing of Chabloz, Portman followed Falter out of the courtroom and confronted him in the lobby of the court building.

He said, “I’m Piers Portman. I have written to you before. Come after me, you Jewish scum. Come and persecute me. Come and get me,” according to the Campaign Against Antisemitism.

In scathing sentencing remarks, Judge Perrins told Portman: “You said you’re an honorable British gentleman. You’re anything but.”

HHJ Perrins then imprisoned him for four months, with the possibility of release on license after two months, and ordered him to pay a £10,000 fine, make an additional £10,000 compensatory payment to Falter and pay court costs.

The court also heard that Portman wrote to Falter in January 2018 claiming that his wife and her divorce lawyer, Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia, both of whom are Jewish, were “greedy, grasping, thieving and lying criminal manipulator[s] of the system,” reported the Jewish Chronicle.

Falter will be donating his compensatory payment to Campaign Against Antisemitism.

Sati Dhadda, Senior Crown Prosecutor in the Crown Prosecution Service, said in a statement that Portman’s conduct “was disgraceful and utterly unacceptable in a courthouse. No one should be subjected to such abuse based on their race or religion.”

Falter said: “I am extremely reassured by this sentence, which sends a very clear message to antisemitism that even the wealthiest and most privileged cannot escape British justice.”