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'I'm an Ulster man, get back to your own f****** country' - drunk man's racist rant at Clandeboye hotel porter

By Paul Higgins

Published 15/10/2015

Clandeboye Lodge Hotel
Clandeboye Lodge Hotel

A Belfast man who punched a hotel night porter in a drunken, racist assault has been ordered to pay his victim £500 and write a letter of apology.

Deferring sentence for six months at Newtownards Magistrates Court, District Judge Mark Hamill warned 60-year-old James Harris that he failed to comply with the courts' expectations, "I will send him to prison."

Harris, from Ohio Street in Belfast, had pleaded guilty to a single count of common assault on Suresh Ramasamy on 7 August this year.

A prosecution lawyer outlined how Harris was asleep on a sofa in the residents bar of the Clandeboye Lodge Hotel when Mr Ramasamy went to wake him at 6am as other residents were arrived for their breakfast.

Harris however pushed the night porter three times in the chest and punched him once in the face, shouting to Mr Ramasamy that he "is an Ulster man and the injured party should get back to his own f****** country."

Police were called and they arrested Harris who had gone back to sleep on the same sofa.

Defence solicitor Mark Campbell claimed the incident was completely out of character for Harris who has "little memory of the incident," adding that reports suggested there were no "entrenched feelings of racism."

Deferring sentence for six months to 14 April, Judge Hamill told Harris that if he wrote the letter saying sorry and gave his victim £500 as compensation, he would suspend the prison sentence.

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