Thug who racially abused restaurant workers in Royston given last chance by court
PUBLISHED: 18:32 09 April 2010 | UPDATED: 16:18 11 May 2010
A DRUNKEN thug who racially abused workers in a Turkish kebab shop and then lashed out at police who tried to arrest him has narrowly escaped going to prison. Instead, James Horgan, 25, was given a suspended sentence and told he was being given a last cha
A DRUNKEN thug who racially abused workers in a restaurant and then lashed out at police who tried to arrest him has narrowly escaped going to prison.
Instead, James Horgan, 25, was given a suspended sentence and told he was being given a last chance.
Horgan, of Old North Road, Kneesworth, had launched his foul mouthed tirade on May 31 last year in Royston High Street.
Neil King, prosecuting at Luton Crown Court today (Friday), told how late that night Horgan turned up at Viva Pizza in the High Street wanting some food but without the money to pay for it.
He became abusive towards the Turkish staff banging on the counter, swearing and threatening to come back to the shop with others and start a fight.
Recorder Martin Oldham was told police arrived on the scene a short while later.
As they arrested Horgan he became violent kicking out at the officers and causing a minor injury to one.
He also hurled racial insults to one officer, Scotsman Graham Smith calling him a "Scottish b******" and threatening to slit his throat".
The court was told Horgan who lives with his partner and their young child, had a number of previous convictions, including one for assault, being drunk and disorderly, assaulting a police officer and violent disorder.
Patrick Harte, defending, said his client had been at a barbecue that day and got drunk.
He said Horgan was now embarrassed by the language he had used that night.
Horgan pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault by beating, common assault and causing racially aggravated fear of violence.
Recorder Martin Oldfield told him: "You behaved on the night in question like a drunken thug."
The police in Royston, said the Recorder, had a difficult enough time as it was without Horgan adding to their problems.
He said it could also be argued that the people of Royston "needed protection from people like you".
But, he told Horgan, from what he had read about him there was a "glimmer of hope" that he could change his ways and he was not going to send him to prison.
Instead, he told him he was getting a 10-month sentence but it would be suspended for two years.
He will also be under the supervision of the probation service for the next 12 months and must carry out 80 hours of unpaid work.
In addition he was told he must pay £150 compensation to each of the police officers he kicked.
Recorder Oldham told a grateful Horgan as he left the dock: "I have given you a chance today.