Jailed for racial abuse and assaulting police

Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66
Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66

A 25-year-old man who racially abused a shop assistant has been jailed for three months.

Damien Anthony McMahon, of Fianna House, Fern Park, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour on March 9, 2013.

He also admitted assaulting a police officer during a special sitting of the local magistrates court in November last year.

The court heard that McMahon went into Bus Stop Stores in Foyle Street and asked for a packet of cigarettes.

He was drunk and did not have any money to pay for them and the shop assistant refused to serve him.

McMahon told the assistant to ‘f*** off p*** b******’.

Police were called and when officers arrived the 25-year-old called them ‘black b*******’.

The second incident occurred when McMahon was brought to a special sitting of the court. He became agitated and caused an injury to a police officers arm as he tried to restrain him.

Defence counsel Kyle Gribben told the court McMahon ‘is not racist in any way’.

He added the comment to the shop assistant was ‘extremely crude, thoughtless and stupid’ and McMahon regrets it.

Jailing the 25-year-old, District Judge Barney McElholm said this was the ‘footballer’s defence’ to say ‘I am not racist I just say racist things’.

The judge said ‘I don’t think we should be drawing any distinction between the two’.