Man sentenced for racial harassment

North Somerset Courthouse.

North Somerset Courthouse. - Credit: Archant

A MAN who hurled racist abuse at a security guard at Weston Town Hall has been spared a jail sentence by magistrates.

Gareth Barrett, aged 33, of Lower Church Road in Weston, admitted this week to racially harassing security guard David Bridges on April 2.

He became loud and aggressive and when Mr Bridges asked him to leave the premises, Barrett refused and instead directed a stream of racial abuse towards the guard.

Barrett also pleaded guilty to threatening to stab Spencer Poland, who stepped in to assist Mr Bridges.

Barrett appeared at North Somerset Courthouse on Monday to plead guilty to three charges: causing racially aggravated distress, using threatening or abusive behaviour and obstructing a person assisting a constable in the execution of duty.

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Sue Cameron, defending, said that Barrett was unco-operative when arrested.

She said he also ‘stiffened’ his hands, which made it difficult for him to be handcuffed.

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She said the ‘catalyst’ for the incident was the recent breakdown of his relationship.

Mrs Cameron told the court he is now back together with his girlfriend and his partner has had a ‘calming’ effect on him.

Barrett said he does not remember the incident at Weston Town Hall because he suffers from random blackouts.

Magistrates handed Barrett a 12-month ban from the Town Hall, along with a six-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

Mr Barrett was also ordered to pay £85 in costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

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