Man jailed over tirade of abuse on Metro
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.”