Man sentenced following racially aggravated harassment in Purton

A man has appeared in court charged with racially/religiously aggravated harassment.

Darren Gunn, aged 46, of High Street, Purton, appeared at Swindon Magistrates Court on 16 June and pleaded guilty to this offence as well as using threatening, abusive, insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

At approximately 8pm on 20 March 2017, Gunn entered Spice Express in Purton and began to question a member of staff about the food served and his ethnicity.

He then threw a packet of ham at the member of staff. It did not come into contact with the victim.

Gunn was told to leave the restaurant but continued to verbally abuse the man.

He was given an eight week prison sentence suspended for two years and was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115, pay costs to the Crown Prosecution Service of £85 and compensation of £100.

He must also complete a six-month alcohol dependency course.

PCSO Andrea Hector said: “We will not tolerate verbal abuse of any kind in our communities and will seek to arrest and charge anyone acting in a racially or religiously aggravated manner so they can be brought before the courts.

“Behaviour of this nature can cause fear, upset and distress.

“We’d like to reassure the local community that we will take action following any reports of hate crimes – do not suffer in silence.

Call police on 101, or report it via the True Vision website”