Belfast Telegraph

Race hate shame of NI footballer who abused woman and pushed cop

By Staff Reporter

A former Northern Ireland under-21 footballer shouted "go home n*****" at a woman in a kebab shop and assaulted the police officer who arrested him.

Michael Corcoran (28) drank more than a gallon of beer and headed to Kebab Zero in east London during a "lads' night out" with three friends last April 22.

The former Cardiff City and Oxford United player, who has described himself as "naturally vocal", led the group as they chanted "go home, go home n*****" at Michelle Kwarteng at the takeaway on Kingsland Road, Shoreditch.

Ms Kwarteng was left in shock as Corcoran banged on the shop counter and stared into her eyes during the racist tirade.

She pointed the midfielder out to Pc Tracey Chapman. But when she tried to arrest him he shoved her and sprinted away. But the drunken yob ran straight into a car and had to be treated for minor injuries by paramedics.

The Wealdstone FC midfielder was convicted of assaulting a police officer and racially aggravated harassment last month. He was ordered to carry out 220 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,085 in fines and costs at Thames Magistrates Court.

"The complainant in this case, Ms Kwarteng, was going home and she went to a kebab shop at approximately 11pm," said Patricia Strobino, prosecuting. "She entered the shop and noticed three white males all chanting racial abuse. They said: 'Go home, go home n*****'.

"He began banging on the counter and was abusive, and his mates followed. She felt intimidated and scared. It caused her to be in shock and she called police. Pc Chapman attended and the victim pointed out the defendant as the main instigator. As she went to arrest him the defendant raised his arms, pushed Pc Chapman with his arms, hitting her arms.

"He ran away along the pavement and the officers gave chase. He ran straight into vehicles and tripped over."

Corcoran expressed remorse for the fracas, saying he "didn't have a clue what he was doing".

He denied racial abuse but was convicted by magistrates.

Kiroulus Abadir, defending, said Corcoran was paid a "pittance" of £150 per game, with a potential win bonus, so he was saving to retrain as an HGV driver.

"He is quite an athletic individual, a semi-professional footballer, perhaps not quite as glamorous as those in the Premier League," said Mr Abadir. "He is in the process of training to complete the HGV course to secure a more steady income than that of a professional footballer."

District Judge Sonia Sims said: "When the drink is in the wit is out. You made it clear during your evidence that you had drunk a considerable amount. It was loutish and offensive behaviour.

"I accept it was not just you on your own, but the comments made were abusive and certainly caused distress."

She imposed concurrent 12-month community orders for each offence with a requirement of 220 hours of unpaid work.

He must also pay £150 compensation to Pc Chapman, £100 to Ms Kwarteng, £775 prosecution costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Corcoran, who lives in Neasden, will pay off his fines at £10 a week.

Belfast Telegraph


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