Became abusive to owner of takeaway

A Lurgan man was guilty of a racially motivated hate crime when he was abusive to the owner of a takeaway in the town.

Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.
Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.
Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.

Patrick John Lewsley (27), whose address was given as Brownlow Terrace, Lurgan, was given 240 hours community service last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

The sentence was for disorderly behaviour, assault on a male and criminal damage to a window on March 23 last year.

Lewsley was also ordered to pay £220 compensation for the damage he caused to the window.

A public prosecutor said this was considered a racially motivated hate crime.

The court heard that at around 1am the defendant went into a takeaway in William Street. He had no intention of ordering anything and called the owner a ‘Paki b—d’.

Lewsley was asked to leave but he refused and shoved the injured party on the shoulder.

The victim started to lower the shutter but the defendant kicked the door, shattering the glass. It cost £220 to repair.

Lewsley made more racial slurs before continuing on his way.

The case had been adjourned from a previous court so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said he had read the report and Lewsley had a limited record with no offending of this nature.

A barrister representing the defendant said he accepted the case crossed the custody threshold but the pre-sentence report was positive.

She added that what happened was very much out of character for the defendant who had brought £150 with him to court to go towards restitution for the damage.

The barrister pointed out that her client was assessed as a low risk of re-offending and there was nothing further in the pipeline.

She said that on this occasion Lewsley had consumed a considerable amount of alcohol.

Judge Bates said that the offence was ‘aggravated by hostility’ and the racial element meant that he would impose the maximum number of hours.