Man jailed over racist attack on street trader in Belfast city centre
A man who carried out a racist attack on a street trader in Belfast city centre was jailed for five months today.
David Godfrey assaulted Mousa Gulusen, shouted a tirade of abuse at him and kicked over his stall, causing more than £500 worth of damage to goods.
Godfrey, 20, of Utility Street, Belfast, claimed he was so drunk he had no memory of the incident last December.
But prosecutors told a judge that his disorderly behaviour, common assault and criminal damage offences were aggravated by his level of hostility and racial motivation.
He was arrested by police called to the scene of the attack on Berry Street.
Belfast Magistrates' Court heard he had shouted "Paki b******" and "F*** off back to your own country."
Two others were said to have joined in the assault, inflicting head and body injuries on the victim.
Although Godfrey claimed he had drank four pints of beer, his solicitor insisted far more alcohol was taken.
"He simply has no recollection of the matter," the lawyer added.
"He has entered guilty pleas and he's very apologetic for this matter."
District Judge Fiona Bagnall held that the nature of the crimes merited a prison sentence.
"Given the fact this is a clearly racially-motivated attack he's facing immediate custody," she said.
Judge Bagnall imposed a five month sentence for the criminal damage and concurrent three and four month terms for the disorderly behaviour and assault.