A drunken woman angrily hurled racist abuse at staff in a takeaway shop – including chanting references to the far-right English Defence League. She and a man, who was in a foul-mouthed group of troublemakers, turned on a Brazilian man who tried to intervene and they both assaulted him during an “ugly” confrontation, Grimsby magistrates heard.
Rebecca Swan, 38, of Beacon Avenue, Cleethorpes, and Christopher Drury, 23, of Corporation Road, Grimsby, admitted a racially aggravated assault on Carlos Defreiates, on July 4. Swan also admitted using racially aggravated threatening words or behaviour.
Nick Wyman, prosecuting, said Swan and Drury were among a group outside the Topkapi takeaway in High Street, Cleethorpes, in the early hours. Swan and some men were repeatedly chanting “EDL” and pointing towards people inside the shop.
Swan shouted racist abuse and was pointing her finger towards the takeaway. The chanting and abuse continued for a couple of minutes. Racist language and “EDL” were shouted again. Swan shouted: “If you live here, you should abide by our laws”. Mr Defreiates, who is Brazilian, got involved and asked Swan and Drury why they were doing it.
The group turned on him and wrongly thought he was Polish. Swan asked him: “Where are you from? You shouldn’t be here.” She rammed her finger in to his chest several times and told him: “You are in England. You should live by my laws.” Swan slapped him across his neck and Drury hit him in the chest with the palm of his hand, causing him to fall to the ground. “It was an ugly incident,” said Mr Wyman.
Ghaff Khan, mitigating, said three people were involved in the abuse but one of them was not charged. Swan was very drunk and claimed she had “no idea who the EDL were”. She was not a member of the group and did not consider herself to be racist. It was “drunken stupidity” and Swan claimed she could not remember much about the incident, said Mr Khan.
Graham Ives, representing Drury, said his client had shown remorse for his role in the “unpleasant” disturbance. Drury claimed he “did not know what the EDL was but he does now” after looking on the internet. He merely asked Mr Defreiates “You’re Polish, are you?” and the assault was very minor. “He’s not a political person,” said Mr Ives. “He’s not a racist. He is very sorry he got involved in this incident and blotted his copybook.” Drury had drunk 10 to 12 cans of lager with a friend.
Mother-of-two Swan, a cleaner at a medical centre, was given a four-week, 9pm to 7am, curfew and was ordered to pay £85 costs and a Government-imposed £60 victims’ surcharge. Unemployed Drury was given a one-year conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £85 costs and a £15 surcharge.