Asian shopkeepers targeted in ‘torrent’ of racist abuse

MEMBERS of an Asian family who run a newsagent’s shop in Bulwell were targeted in a ‘torrent’ of racial abuse by two men from the town’s Crabtree Farm Estate, one of whom wielded a knife, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

Kelvin Barratt (25), of Courtleet Way, and Stefan Davis (21), of Bromley Close, were both jailed for ten months.

Judge Michael Stokes QC ordered them not to go within 200 metres of the family’s shop for five years.

Robby Singh (prosecuting) said Barratt and Davis began their harassment at 7 am on Monday April 16 while the family were unloading stock outside their shop.

Barratt was said to have pulled a knife as he delivered an ‘onslaught of foul remarks’. He asked one of the family: “What religion are you?”

When she asked him what that mattered, he replied: “Because I’m EDL”, indicating that he was a member of the English Defence League.

Things then seemed to calm down and Davis shook hands with one of the family before he and Barratt left.

But they returned to the shop later the same day and continued their racial abuse, Mr Singh told the court.

Davis told the family: “I’ll be back. I’ll smash your shop. I’ll come back and rob your shop.” He then went to the Bulwell Tesco superstore and shouted inside before police arrived and arrested him and Barratt.

Mr Singh said Barratt swore and said he had no respect for the police.

Both men admitted racially aggravated harassment and using threatening words or behaviour. Barratt also pleaded guilty to having the knife.

Barratt’s counsel, Andrew Wesley, said his client had kept out of trouble for nine years and was actively seeking work.

Mr Wesley stressed that Barratt did not support the EDL and was deeply ashamed of his behaviour.

The court heard tht Davis accepted his behaviour was wrong and alcohol was a factor.

Passing sentence, Judge Stokes said it was no excuse that both men were drunk at the time of the offending.

He went on: “The family who own the newsagents in Bulwell were at the shop at the time because they are hardworking, decent individuals. They did not want any trouble. Such behaviour will not be tolerated.”

The family asked for their shop not to be identified because they were worried about further trouble.

From The Hucknall Dispatch . 30.08.12


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