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Man claimed he abused Muslims over 'fears for young son's future'

By Nevin Farrell

Published 13/09/2016

The kebab shop in Coleraine targeted by Samuel Martin
The kebab shop in Coleraine targeted by Samuel Martin
Samuel Martin

A man who downed a bottle of Buckfast claimed he shouted abuse about Muslims and damaged a kebab shop owner's car as he feared for his son's future "because of Islamic things in the world", a court has heard.

Samuel Marshall Martin (47), a caretaker from Windsor Avenue, Coleraine, was handed probation for a year and ordered to carry out 80 hours community service.

He had been charged with causing criminal damage and being disorderly in Railway Road in Coleraine on July 8 this year.

A prosecutor told Coleraine Magistrates Court the incident happened at 10.45pm and was being treated as a hate crime.

He said Martin had gone to a Turkish kebab takeaway and asked staff why they had bacon on their menu before wondering if they would "die a Muslim".

He also shouted "f*** Muslims" and scraped the owner's car, which cost £390 to repair.

When arrested he told police: "The Muslims have won again."

He told police after drinking a bottle of Buckfast he bought a second bottle and couldn't remember much.

Martin also said he feared for the future of his seven-year-old son because of Islam.

Defence solicitor Denise Gillan said her client had brought £390 to court and "finds it difficult to be labelled a racist" as his wife is Thai.

Ms Gillan said the incident arose out of taking far too much alcohol and a "very marked lack of judgment".

She said Martin is the sole carer for his son as his wife has returned to her Far East home.

Ms Gillan said Martin had been watching news stories circulating in the media and events in Europe were on his mind.

"That is why he acted as he did," she added.

She said that Martin wished to apologise for his conduct.

Deputy District Judge Liam McStay said it was a "serious" incident and one which he found to be a hate crime motivated by religion.

He noted the defendant was married to a Thai woman and his son had half her genes.

The judge described the offence as "mean" with no point to it, but said it was to Martin's credit he had brought compensation to the court and he read into that there was "genuine remorse".

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