Man jailed over tirade of abuse on Metro

Sunday Sun - - News - By ROB KENNEDY Court Re­porter rob.kennedy@ncjme­

HATE-FILLED James Lee launched into a sick­en­ing racist tirade at a Metro worker in front of shocked pas­sen­gers. Lee was ly­ing across seats swig­ging al­co­hol on a train in New­cas­tle when he took um­brage at the em­ployee for telling him it was against the law to drink on the Metro.

A court heard the 23-year-old started mak­ing dis­gust­ing com­ments about the James Lee, right, ver­bally abused a mem­ber of Metro staff worker and his fam­ily hav­ing bombs and said: “I’m white, you are black, this is Eng­land, my coun­try”.

After con­tin­u­ing to racially abuse the man Lee then spat at him, New­cas­tle Crown Court heard.

Pas­sen­gers on the train, who were ap­palled at what they had seen, ap­plauded the staff who dealt with it when the train pulled into Cen­tral Sta­tion.

Now Lee, of Derby Street, Jar­row, who has 61 pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions, has been jailed fors six months after he ad­mit­ted racially ag­gra­vated ha­rass­ment alarm or dis­tress.

Recorder Wil­liam Lowe QC told him: “You abused him in a vile and of­fen­sive man­ner.

“You were ag­gres­sive and made sug­ges­tions he prob­a­bly had bombs in his bag.

“This was quite clearly ex­pressed racism, then you spat at him, which was an ut­terly dis­gust­ing thing to have done.

“The Metro at this time would have been busy and one wit­ness said he is a reg­u­lar user of the Metro and was dis­gusted at your be­hav­iour and em­bar­rassed and ashamed at what you were say­ing, and he no­ticed a num­ber of oth­ers on the Metro looked dis­tressed by your be­hav­iour.

“The com­plainant is in fact in a po­si­tion akin to a pub­lic ser­vant. He was there to help you and other pas­sen­gers, which is what he was try­ing to do.

“He was only ask­ing you to ob­serve the by-law say­ing you are not al­lowed to drink al­co­hol on the Metro.

“How­ever, he was abused by you in this vile and of­fen­sive way.”

Lee was on the Metro with a wo­man at Mon­u­ment aroundund 7pm on July 5 when he was spot­ted drink­ing al­co­hol from a bot­tle.

When he was told drink­ing al­co­hol was banned on the Metro, he be­came ar­gu­men­ta­tive and said: “You have prob­a­bly got a bomb in your bag, your fam­ily have bombs. I’m white, you are black, I should be search­ing your bag, you have prob­a­bly got a bomb in your bag”, and “I’m white, you are black, this is Eng­land, my coun­try”.

Lee then spat on the worker, the saliva land­ing on the chest of his jacket.

Pros­e­cu­tor Kevin Ward­law said: “When the train got into Cen­tral Sta­tion the other pas­sen­gers ap­plauded the staff who dealt with him, such was their dis­gust with the ac­tions of the de­fen­dant.”

The vic­tim said: “I en­counter racism dur­ing my work­ing life pe­ri­od­i­cally but I usu­ally just let it go, but this in­ci­dent went far beyond this.

“All I did was ask him not to drink and he thought it gave him the right to shout at me and spit at me.”

Tony Corn­berg, mit­i­gat­ing, said Lee would not have be­haved as he did but for the fact he had con­sumed al­co­hol while tak­ing med­i­ca­tion.

He added he is the carer for his preg­nant part­ner and that he has been work­ing for a de­liv­ery com­pany.

Mr Corn­berg added: “He says he has no an­i­mos­ity to­wards any groups of peo­ple.”

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