17:40 Friday 14 February 2014

Binge drinker shouted racist abuse at men

Written bySARAH BOULD

A MAN described as a ‘binge drinker’ shouted racist abuse at two men at Burton’s Tesco superstore, a court heard.

Rodney Wright, 41, of Rosliston Road, Stapenhill, pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Burton Magistrates’ Court heard that, on December 28, Wright went to the supermarket off St Peter’s Bridge to buy a sandwich. He bumped into an Asian customer and proceeded to insult the man, using a racist term. He then hurled racist abuse at the shop’s security guard.

Sam Fraser, prosecuting, said: “The security man feared he was going to hit him and the police were called. He said nobody should speak to him like that just because of the colour of his skin, and that he was targeted because he was a British Asian.

“Police said Wright smelled of alcohol and there were lots of people around at the time.”

The court heard that at one point Wright shouted that he was going to kill the man, who he again referred to using a racist term. He admitted in police interview that he was drunk and said he had insulted the customer because he had called him a skinhead.

Neil O’Driscoll, defending, said: “The use of the word is regarded as a racist remark, which is why he pleaded guilty, but he used the word while he was intoxicated.

“He binge drinks – he was using words to others as well, being abusive. He lost his job due to his drinking at the weekend.”

Mr O’ Driscoll said Wright had apologised to police during interview.

Magistrates called it an ‘unprovoked and prolonged incident’ and imposed an eight-week prison term, suspended for 18 months.

Two existing community orders were also extended and Wright must to take part in an accredited programme.

He was also told to pay court costs and a victim surcharge amounting to £165.

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