Huddersfield Daily Examiner

Drunk in shop race abuse is spared prison

- By EMMA DAVISON @EmmaDaviso­n10

A MAN caught with a knife after hurling racist abuse at a shopkeeper has avoided jail.

The wrapped-up kitchen knife was found in a bag in Darrell McCarthy’s possession, following his arrest from Bradley Booze and News.

But, while a district judge condemned the spread of knife violence in Huddersfie­ld, he told the 41-year-old he was prepared to spare him jail due to the unusual circumstan­ces.

McCarthy pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article in public and using racially-aggravated threatenin­g behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

The incident at the Leeds Road shop happened on November 15 last year, Kirklees Magistrate­s’ Court was told.

The shopkeeper, Atyab Zahid, had expressed some concern about McCarthy attending drunk.

The 41-year-old became involved in a row with him, hurling racist abuse, and police were called. Upon his arrest, they discovered a kitchen knife which had been wrapped multiple times in plastic bags.

District Judge Michael Fanning was told that McCarthy had a history of alcohol misuse which had been the cause of his offending since the age of 18.

He suffered from anxiety and drank alcohol to cope, but has since cut down on his drinking, the Huddersfie­ld court was told.

Judge Fanning told him : “You need to understand society is sick of knife crime.

“There’s a significan­t amount of knife crime in Huddersfie­ld and typically the target group for this are late teens to mid-twenties.

“They carry knives in their waistbands and pockets to be used in the town centre at night, in and out of clubs and pubs.”

He explained that, due to this, sentencing guidelines normally dictated that people caught with knives were sent to prison.

However, he said that Zahid’s situation was different as he did not brandish the knife or involve himself in serious disorder.

He commented: “You do not constitute a danger and there’s no suggestion you brandished the weapon. It’s unfortunat­e it (the knife) was in the bag, but it remained there throughout the incident, treblewrap­ped with plastic bags.”

The court was told that the victim knows and likes McCarthy, of Upper Quarry Road, in Bradley.

Judge Fanning said: “He observed that, three months before this offence, you appeared to be getting more and more drunk and expressed concerns about your welfare. You say you have no underlying racist attitudes so it begs the question why you resorted to that language. I’m sure he will accept your apology.”

He sentenced McCarthy to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months. A 16-week electronic­ally-monitored curfew was made from 8pm to 7am. Judge Fanning said: “This means that during what promises to be a pleasant summer, you’re going to miss out on that.”

McCarthy was ordered to pay £85 costs, £115 victim surcharge and £100 compensati­on to his victim for the “hurt caused by that use of language.”

The knife seized from him will be forfeited and destroyed.

 ??  ?? Bradley Booze and News, Leeds Road
Bradley Booze and News, Leeds Road
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