Owner of kebab takeaway was victim of ‘racial hostility’- Judge

Ballymena Courthouse. INBT02-213AC
Ballymena Courthouse. INBT02-213AC

A man who entered a takeaway in Ballymena and asked for “half a kebab with half heroin” and then broke the owner’s nose with a punch has been jailed for six months.

Kurt Graham (19), of Spence Crescent, Cullybackey, previously admitted five charges relating to the attack on October 22 last year which District Judge Peter King described as “reprehensible” and said was motivated by “racial hostility”.

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 on Thursday the case was “aggravated by hostility” and that police received a a report of a disturbance at the ‘Turkish Kebab’ takeaway at the town’s Church Street.

The owner told police a male 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 police 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.

Graham was released on bail of £500 pending appeal.