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Traffic warden racially abused in Nelson
Updated 2:21pm Friday 21st February 2014 in News
A FATHER-OF-THREE hurled a torrent of racist abuse at a traffic warden after he was booked – then tried to stick his ticket on the victim's chest, a court heard.
Mohammed Nawaz, who had a young child with him, launched into a frightening rant at Liam West in front of a crowd in Nelson town centre, branding him scum, and telling him: “All white people are horrible.”
Burnley Crown Court was told how Nawaz had been alleged to have referred to Lee Rigby, the fusilier killed in Woolwich, and to have threatened death to soldiers in Afghanistan, but denied making those comments.
Nawaz, 31, has 17 previous offences on his record and in 2012 was convicted after he threatened to petrol bomb a butcher's shop.
The defendant, a part-time printing firm worker, of Reedyford Road, Nelson, admitted racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress, last May 28.
He was given a community order with 70 hours’ unpaid work and a 12 month restraining order, banning contact with Mr West.
Benjamin Lawrence, prosecuting, said Mr West was on duty at around 11.30am when he saw a Lexus car parked illegally in a cycle lane. As he began issuing a ticket, and photographing the car, the defendant returned and was racially abusive.
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Mr West felt very intimidated as the defendant was aggressive and volatile. Nawaz told the victim he knew where he lived.
The defendant crossed the road and on the central area, looked towards the group of people who had gathered round the vehicle and continued his racist abuse. He then went back across the road, took the ticket off the car, tried unsuccessfully to stick it on Mr West's chest, got in his vehicle and drove away.
Nawaz was arrested on June 2 and admitted a verbal disagreement, but denied using any racist language. The defendant had previous convictions for battery and threatening criminal damage.
Nicholas Powell, court probation officer who interviewed the defendant for an oral pre-sentence report, said the defendant's father suffered from Alzheimer's Disease and at the time Nawaz's wife was pregnant. The officer continued: “It would appear all this frustration and all this stress just came out at that time.”
Recorder John Bromley- Davenport, QC, said the incident was 'very unsavoury'. He said: “This was firstly a verbal attack on a public servant doing his duty and secondly an attack on racial harmony.”