Jailed for racially abusing man

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A 25-years-old who racially abused and assaulted a shop assistant, was filming the incident on his mobile phone, a court has heard.

Aaron McGuinness, of Galliagh Park, was jailed for three months for the racially motivated incident.

McGuinness pleaded guilty to common assault, disorderly behaviour and incitement to hatred on December 3, last year.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard the defendant entered Bus Stop Stores on Foyle Street shortly after 5:30pm and immediately began verbally abusing a shop assistant.

He was using racially motivated language, shouting ‘you Indian b******’ and telling him to ‘go home to your family’.

McGuinness was videoing his behaviour on his mobile phone.

As one stage the defendant went right into the injured party’s face and he was left in fear that he was going ot be assaulted.

Other customers attempted to move the defendant out of the shop and he began shouting at them ‘are you going to trust him? He’s a f***ing P*** c***’.

Police were called and it was revealed McGuinness put on an Indian accent and mocked the injured party as he was on the phone.

Officers visited the defendant’s home address, entered his bedroom and woke him up. It was noted he was still wearing the same clothes.

During police interview, McGuinness made no comment.

He was interveiewd a second time and shown CCTV footage of the incident and still refused to answer any questions.

Defence counsel Eoghan Devlin said the sentiments expressed by his client were ‘digusting’ and would be ‘appalling to any right thinking person’.

He said McGuinness had entered a guilty plea at a very early stage and has expressed ‘remorse and regret’ for his behaviour.

Mr Devlin said McGuinness has had difficulties with addiction in the past but has sought help.

He added that the defendant has a limited record and has no history of racially motivated offences.

The barrister said his client wishes to apologise and ‘feels humiliated by what he has done’.

Jailing McGuinness for three months, District Judge Barney McElholm said the defendant had two opportunities to apologise during police interview but he persisted in making no comment instead.

He said ‘this shows a lack of remorse’ on the part of the defendant.

The judge granted leave for McGuinness to appeal the sentence.

He released the defendant on his own bail of £500 and banned him from having any contact with the injured party.

McGuinness is also banned from going within 100 metres of Bus Stop Stores on Derry’s Foyle Street.

The next Appeal Court is due to be held in September.