Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Banker Neil Docherty admits racist abuse on train

CCTV picture Image copyright BTP
Image caption Neil Docherty admitted two racially aggravated offences

An investment banker from West Lothian was caught on camera racially abusing a woman on a late night train.

Police issued CCTV photographs and a mobile phone image of Neil Docherty, 43, taken by a fellow passenger in bid to track him down.

Livingston Sheriff Court heard that within hours members of the public called police with his name and place of work.

Docherty, from Linlithgow, admitted two racially aggravated offences.

He admitted assaulting Fella Hammach, 33, on board a Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh train at Linlithgow on 28 August.

He also admitted acting in a racially aggravated manner which caused or was intended to cause alarm and distress to Ms Hammach by shouting and swearing, acting in an aggressive manner and directing religious remarks towards her using racially offensive language.

Catherine Knowles, prosecuting, said the assault was witnessed by several passengers on the train, which was packed with people returning from a night out.

As the train pulled into Linlithgow station at about 23:00 Ms Hammach was unexpectedly slapped on the right side of her head from behind.

Docherty was overheard shouting and swearing at her saying: "Go back to your own country. Muslim men are raping women."

Names collected

The fiscal said a female passenger told the accused to shut up, but he ignored her and shouted: "It'll be a different story when they take over the world and you're all wearing burkhas."

He continued to make racist comments until he left the train at Linlithgow station.

Mrs Knowles said a passenger collected the names and contact details of everyone who had witnessed the incident and passed them to the conductor who contacted British Transport Police.

Officers were waiting at Edinburgh to take statements from them and a copy of the camera phone image. They later obtained CCTV footage from the train.

After a public appeal Docherty surrendered himself to police and was detained.

Gilliam Taylor, defending, said her client worked as an investment banker and would co-operate with the preparation of reports.

Sheriff Peter Hammond called for background checks. Docherty will be sentenced at a later date.

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