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'Racially abusive teen threatened to burn down Indian takeaway'

A teenager threatened to burn down an Indian takeaway in a dispute over his method of payment, the High Court heard yesterday.

Gavin Toner also directed racist abuse at staff after being told he could not use a bank card, prosecutors claimed.

The 19-year-old, of Shimna Wood, Newcastle, Co Down, faces charges of threats to damage property, assault, attempted criminal damage and disorderly behaviour.

He was granted bail but banned from entering the town or contacting the business owner.

Police were called to the Raaz Express on Main Street, Newcastle, on March 6 amid claims that a customer was threatening to members of staff.

Prosecution lawyer Philip Henry said staff claimed Toner had become aggressive and abusive after being asked to leave the fast-food outlet.

"He threatened to pull a knife on them," the barrister claimed.

"He also threatened to come back the following night and burn the shop down."

It was claimed that Toner had been drunk and tried to break the takeaway's windows once ushered outside. "When arrested his reply was that he wanted to press charges against 'that C****'," Mr Henry added.

Toner later alleged he had been attacked with a metal bar after his card was refused, the court heard.

Luke Curran, defending, argued that there was no evidence of any damage caused by his client.

"It appears when he attempted to pay for items the shop wasn't able to accept the card he had," the barrister said. "He indicates that the owner was rough with him because he lit a cigarette."

Granting bail, Mr Justice Gillen ordered Toner to live at a hostel in Armagh and imposed a curfew and alcohol ban.

Belfast Telegraph