Two louts who caused trouble in a takeaway and racially insulted the owner have been spared immediate jail- but got a serious ticking off from a judge.
Burnley Crown Court heard how Terry Graham (30) and Thomas Duerden (18) left the victim, who runs the Tandoori Nights shop in Colne, scared and intimidated by their behaviour. A drink was thrown over him and he was threatened with violence.
Duerden had been shouting BNP and although it was said he did not know what it meant, it would have aggravated the melee and had an effect on the shop owner.
Father of three Graham tried to get behind the counter, police were called and in a “typically cowardly” manner, the pair then made off.
When officers arrived, Graham threatened them, kicked one twice, grazing his legs, and spat at another. He then headbutted the police vehicle he was put in, the hearing was told.
The defendants, of Newmarket Street, Colne, admitted racially aggravated harassment, last August. Graham also pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault.
Duerden, who has never been in trouble before, was given 26 weeks in custody, suspended for a year, with 50 hours unpaid work and a three month curfew. He was said to be ashamed of his behaviour.
The court was told Graham had a long record, had not offended for two and a half years before the incident. The defendant, said to have turned to drink, probably prompted by the break-up of a relationship, received eight months in custody, suspended for 18 months, with 100 hours unpaid work and a three month curfew.
Both defendants were given a restraining order, banning them from going to the Tandoori Nights.
Sentencing, Recorder MP Willems said racism was “evil” and he had difficulty in accepting menacing, racist insults could be explained by drink.
He continued: “If anything, drink simply unleashes those prejudices that lie deep within you and the courts have a zero tolerance approach to racism, quite rightly.”