Suspended sentence for ‘appalling’ racial comment and assault

editorial image

A teenager who made a racial comment after assaulting a black man has received a suspended sentence.

Will Chambers, of Tullyally Road, Drumahoe, pleaded guilty to common assault on May 24.

Suspending a two month sentence for year, Deputy District Judge Oonagh Mullan told the 19-year-old this sort of behaviour ‘will not be tolerated by society. Let this be a salutory lesson to you’.

Derry Magistrates Court heard the injured party was in the Bank Place area of the city when Chambers ran towards him, jumped up and punched him to the right eye.

Chambers walked away from the injured party, put two fingers up and shouted ‘black b******’.

The injured party identified his attacker to police a short time later.

The 19-year-old denied assaulting the injured party or making a racist comment.

However, Chambers later admitted hitting the man.

He claimed the injured party had bumped into him in a nightclub and this annoyed him.

He continued to deny the racist comment.

The court heard the injured party was not in the nightclub on the night in question.

A defence barrister told the court his client has ‘no history whatsoever of violent offending let alone any history of racially motivated offending’.

He said the teen comes from an ‘extremely good background’ and is ‘mortified’ by his behaviour.

The barrister added Chambers is ‘utterly chastened by appearing before the court’.

Passing sentence, Judge Mullan said Chambers ‘should be ashamed of yourself’.

‘To hit a person for no apparent reason and then because of the colour of their skin to make a racial comment. That cannot be ignored and is an aggravating factor.

She said the incident was ‘appalling’ and was imposing a suspended sentence to ‘prevent you from behaving in this way in the future’.