Race attack sentence deferred after appeal

Court
Court

A man who was given a six months jail term after he entered a takeaway in Ballymena and asked for “half a kebab with half heroin” and then broke the owner’s nose has had sentencing deferred on appeal.

Kurt Graham (19), of Spence Crescent, Cullybackey, previously admitted five charges relating to October 22 last year.

District Judge Peter King described the attack as “reprehensible” and said it was motivated by “racial hostility”.

Recently at Ballymena Magistrates Court Graham was given a six months jail term.

He appealed and at the County Court in Antrim, Judge Gordon Kerr QC affirmed the conviction but deferred sentencing for six months to monitor the defendant, including his mental health.

Previously, at Ballymena Court Graham pleaded guilty to assaulting Arslan Nasrullah thereby occasioning him actual bodily harm; assaulting Ghazanfar Ali; assault on a police officer; being disorderly and possession of cannabis.

A prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court the case was “aggravated by hostility”.

He told the court that police had responded after they received a report of a disturbance at the ‘Turkish Kebab’ takeaway at the town’s Church Street. The owner of the shop told police a male had entered around 1.45am and asked for “half a kebab with half heroin” before punching him and shouting “Turkish b--tard”, “Paki b--tard” and “f--king Paki”.

The owner’s nose was broken and during the disturbance Graham also punched another male.

Police were told the defendant had left in the direction of Harryville and when they stopped Graham near Harryville Bridge he was verbally abusive to officers who he told to “go f--k themselves”.

He spat at an officer who had to dodge the saliva and when restrained and put in a cell van Graham told a police officer he was “going to rape your ma and get you shot”.

Herbal cannabis was found in Graham’s pocket.

A defence lawyer said it was “a very grave” incident and it was accepted it was motivated on the basis of “racial background”.

He said Graham had a “mental disorder” and had been working with a group concerning his substance abuse.

Judge King said there was “racial hostility” and a drugs background to the case involving Graham who had a criminal record and on the basis of the “racist element” to the assaults he was jailing him for six months.If the case had not been motivated by racist hostility the sentence would have been four or five months and if the case had been contested and lost it would have been nine months, said Judge King.

Last month Graham was released on bail of £500 pending appeal.