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Drunk jailed for attacking passer-by after racist rant in Belfast city centre

A drunk who lashed out at a passerby who remonstrated with him over his racist comments to a black woman has been jailed for 21 months.

Prosecutor Tessa Kitson told Belfast Crown Court that a drunken 22-year-old Anthony French was being verbally abusive to the woman as she waited for a bus in the city centre on April 15, 2011.

A passerby, who had just finished work, heard what French was shouting into the face of the woman, and took exception to it, telling him his "language and behaviour were both unjustified in every sense of the word".

Ms Kitson said the man turned and backed away, only for French to follow him.

French was carrying two plastic bags, one of which contained a pint glass, and as the man turned, he swung the bag, smashing the glass over his head.

He also headbutted him on the mouth and nose, although it is accepted what he did was totally out of character.

Defence QC Peter Irvine said that a deeply remorseful French, from Carncaver Road, Belfast, wished to "apologise profusely" to all concerned, not only to his victim, but also to the woman he verbally abused.

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Ordering that French spend 21 months in prison, followed by an equal period on licensed parole, Deputy Recorder Judge Corinne Philpott said the only thing that could be said for his distasteful behaviour was that he was drunk, his age, and the fact that he had a difficult upbringing.

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