Threatened to burn down shop when card was declined

A man racially abused a shop assistant after his debit card was declined, a court has heard.

Stuart Cloete, of Rushcroft Park, pleaded guilty to threatening to damage a city centre shop on July 22, last year.

Derry Magistrates Court heard the 25-year-old attempted to use his debit card to buy cigarettes in Bus Stop Stores, Foyle Street.

When his card was declined he threatened to burn down the shop and called the assistant ‘Paki b******’.

Cloete was arrested and denied making a racist comment, however did say he asked the shop assistant to speak English because he was speaking another language.

Defence counsel Stephen Chapman told the court the incident occurred when the Ulster Bank was experiencing technical difficulties and his client found it ‘frustrating’.

He said the comments made by Cloete were ‘absolutely disgraceful and cannot be justified in any shape or form’.

Ordering the 25-year-old to complete the probation order, District Judge Barney McElholm warned him if he came back to court ‘in the foreseeable future you will be sent to prison’.