Thugs jailed for racist attack on Muslim they blamed for Lee Rigby killing

Three Ashford thugs launched a nasty racist attack on an innocent man talking on a mobile phone to his mother in Pakistan.

The drunken yobs – who were carrying beer cans – spat at their victim Sarfaraz Khan before screaming the vile accusation: “You kill our soldiers”… followed by the taunt “Lee Rigby” – the soldier who died in an unprovoked attack in London. Now James Carpenter, 26, from Mallards, Ashford, Benjamin Gordon, 24, of no fixed address and Daniel White, 23 of Wellesley Road, Ashford have all been jailed for the racially-aggravated attack.

Prosecutor Andrew Forsythe told Canterbury Crown Court how the three were walking in Folkestone in July last year. As a woman holding a child’s hand passed pushing a buggy, they shouted: “F*** off, P*** b***, go back to your own country.” She heard more racist comments as the group then saw Mr Khan, who has lived in the UK for nearly six years, sitting on a bench talking to his mother on a mobile phone.

Ringleader Carpenter then began hurling abuse at his victim, asking why he was wearing a dress – before all three then started spitting. The prosecutor said Mr Khan, realising they were drunk, tried to ignore them before telling them to go away. He said that as Mr Khan began wiping phlegm from his face, Carpenter punched him to the right of his neck and Gordon and White then joined in the attack.

Mr Forsythe said Gordon dragged Mr Khan into the middle of the road where there was oncoming traffic, before throwing a beer can at him. Members of the public then came to the aid of the frightened victim and the three attackers walked away. Mr Khan was left shaken by his ordeal. The prosecutor said police then arrived and stopped Gordon and White, who claimed they had been beaten up by a group of Asians!

Judge Heather Norton jailed Carpenter and Gordon for 10 months each and White, who has mental health issues, for eight months. They had all admitted the racially aggravated assault. She told them:

“For your victim this was a frightening experience. He feels he was abused because of the clothes he was wearing – and he has every right to wear what he was wearing. He also has the right to go about his business without being subjected to racial abuse. These offences aggravate the difficulties and feelings of people in this country and only a custodial sentence is appropriate.”

Kent Online, 17 February 2014