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Cookstown man assaulted doctor because partner 'doesn't like black people'

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A Cookstown man has been jailed after turning on a doctor during a medical assessment because his partner who was also present "doesn't like black people"

A Cookstown man has been jailed after turning on a doctor during a medical assessment because his partner who was also present "doesn't like black people"

A Cookstown man has been jailed after turning on a doctor during a medical assessment because his partner who was also present "doesn't like black people"

A Cookstown man has been jailed after turning on a doctor during a medical assessment because his partner who was also present "doesn't like black people".

Colm Campbell (34) from Ratheen Avenue grabbed the doctor by his jacket and issued threats against calling police.

The incident occurred in Cookstown GP Surgery on July 10, 2019, but was flatly denied by Campbell, who continues to protest his innocence.

In March Dungannon Magistrates Court heard Campbell was accompanying his partner to a medical assessment, who openly asserted she "doesn't like black people".

The assessment was made difficult by this and as tensions rose Campbell took hold of the doctor's jacket lapels and told him: "If you call police I'm going to bust you, specky b******."

He was arrested and during interview dismissed any suggestion of touching the doctor, insisting they shook hands when the assessment ended.

Campbell maintained this during the contest, but was convicted with District Judge Michael Ranaghan telling him: "I wouldn't believe one word coming out of your mouth."

The case was adjourned to allow for the preparation of pre-sentence reports, which on return to court indicated Campbell continues to utterly reject any guilt.

A defence lawyer said her client had been the "conciliatory" party for the most part during the assessment, and any racist issue was on the part of his girlfriend.

She said: "While matters did escalate, I don't think he was directing any racial abuse at the doctor. The assault was technical in nature and no injuries were sustained."

However, she conceded: "He doesn't accept culpability and that rules out any community-based disposal."

While accepting Campbell has a significant record, the defence urged the judge to suspend any prison sentence.

But Judge Ranaghan rejected this. Imposing a three-month jail term, he said: "To be absolutely clear, I have no hesitation in ruling this offence was aggravated by racism."

Belfast Telegraph