A former billionaire who was once one of the richest men in the country has been cleared by a jury after claiming ‘I didn’t mean it in a racist way’.

Simon Halabi – once the 12th richest man in Britain before being declared bankrupt in 2010 – was cleared of racially aggravated assault and one count of assault by jurors at Southwark Crown Court.

The court heard Halabi called Carl Thomas a “peasant” and a “monkey” as the binman stopped to collect bags near his Mayfair home.

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