Northern Ireland

Anthony French jailed for attacking man who challenged racist abuse

A drunk who attacked a passerby who remonstrated with him over racist abuse of a woman has been jailed for 21 months.

Anthony French, 22, was drunk and verbally abusive to the woman as she waited for a bus in Belfast.

The passerby, who had just finished work, heard what French was shouting into the face of the woman.

He told French his "language and behaviour were both unjustified in every sense of the word".

Prosecution counsel said the man turned and backed away, only for French to follow him.

French was carrying two plastic bags, one of which contained a pint glass, and as the man turned, he swung the bag, smashing the glass over his head.

'Distasteful'

He also head butted him on the mouth and nose.

Defence counsel said that a deeply remorseful French, from Carncaver Road, Belfast, wished, through him, to "apologise profusely" to all concerned, not only to his victim, but also to the woman he verbally abused.

Drink and, or, drugs, was the cause behind it, he added.

He said French's behaviour was absolutely and totally unjustified, and distasteful.

However, since then he had expressed his genuine remorse and accepted the harm he caused.

Ordering that French spend 21 months in prison, followed by an equal period on licensed parole, the judge said the only thing that could be said for his distasteful behaviour was that he was drunk, his age, and the fact that he had had a difficult upbringing.