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Race abuse actor sent to hospital

The sentencing of a film star who racially abused his ex-girlfriend has been adjourned after he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act, his solicitor has said.

James Howson, 24, of Haslewood Close, Burmantofts, Leeds, was due to appear at Leeds Magistrates' Court for sentencing after he pleaded guilty to the racially aggravated harassment of Shakira Ramdihal.

But the case was adjourned after the court heard that the Wuthering Heights star had been sectioned in a hospital in Newcastle.

Speaking outside the court after the brief hearing, Anthony Sugare, Howson's solicitor, said: "The position is that on arriving at court this morning, I was told that the court itself had heard from the hospital that he had been taken in there under the Mental Health Act for a period of 28 days for observation."

Howson admitted racially aggravated harassment at a hearing last month.

The court heard that the 24-year-old shouted racist abuse and threats at his former girlfriend after their three-year relationship ended.

Howson was the first black actor to play Heathcliff in the 2011 movie, based on Emily Bronte's classic novel.

He won the role after he attended auditions advertised on a JobCentre wall.

He will be sentenced in Leeds on March 26.

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