A father-of-three has been spared jail after assaulting a man and his teenage son with a paving slab as they walked to their mosque. Shaun Wilkinson, 25, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault after unleashing a barrage of vile racist abuse at the men as they walked down Thompson Street, Preston.
Preston Crown Court heard Wilkinson, of Slaidburn Road, Ribbleton, saw the father and his 14-year-old son approaching and said “watch this” to his girlfriend. As they walked past, Wilkinson punched the father in his face. The son stepped in to try and help his father, grappling Wilkinson to the ground. However, Wilkinson got up and threw a piece of paving stone, hitting the youngster in the forehead.
Rachel Faux, prosecuting, told the court: “(The father) asked what the problem was and received a barrage of verbal abuse. As the father waited for the police to be called there was further abuse from females on the street.” The police arrived and arrested Wilkinson. He continued making racist comments.
During the attack the father’s diabetes flared up and he was taken to hospital with his son. In a victim impact statement, he said: “The incident has affected me and my son and all our family very badly. Before this incident I always used to walk to mosque by walking the same way but now I go to mosque by car.”
Daniel Prowse, defending Wilkinson, said: “This was an extremely ugly incident of gratuitous violence and racist language – something Shaun Wilkinson finds it difficult to comprehend he would even do.” He said Wilkinson worked with a number of Asian people and felt a sense of “deep shame” about his behaviour. Wilkinson has a criminal record but Mr Prowse said he has tried very hard to put the past behind him and had stayed out of trouble for four years before the attack.
Wilkinson was handed a 14 month sentence suspended for 18 months with a curfew between 9pm and 8am for six months. He must also carry out 250 hours of unpaid work and pay his victims £500 compensation each.
Unsurprisingly, Wilkinson would appear to be a supporter of the English Defence League.