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Elmswell man, 56, avoids jail after racially abusing health worker

A 56-year-old man has been spared prison after racially abusing a nurse in Bury St Edmunds.

Michael Anderson, of Thedwastre Close, Elmswell, was handed a suspended sentence after admitting the offence and also resisting arrest and threatening his neighbours.

Ipswich Magistrates’ Court heard Anderson had been drinking spirits ‘by the litre’ while his counsel argued that physical and mental disabilities had led to his behaviour darkening.

Ipswich Magistrates' Court
Ipswich Magistrates' Court

Mr Smart, prosecuting, said: “There was serious distress caused to the victim (of the racial comments). He had to take time out after being exposed to the comments.

“There is a high level of racial aggravation.”

Mr Smart said that Anderson had told the health worker that he ‘hated black people,’ he said he ‘did not want anything to do with black people,’ and also shouted a foul racist name.

The prosecutor continued: “Mr Anderson has gone out of his house, shouting at his neighbours and banging on the wall with a hammer.”

The court heard that when police arrived Anderson resisted arrest and spat into the face of an officer, who was concerned of a risk of Covid-19 infection.

The incidents happened between October 2019 and June 2020.

Mr Milkovics, representing Anderson, said his client had drunk two litres of whiskey before abusing the nurse. For comparison, a double shot glass holds around 50ml.

“He has told police he is not a racist and does not hold racist views,” said Mr Milkovics.

“In the moment, he wanted to insult and he chose the strongest words he could think of.”

Mr Milkovics was said to have run his own taxi firm before his health issues forced bankruptcy which had left him claiming benefits.

Until the pandemic he had received support from brain injury charity Headway. The lack of support through the lockdown had led to Anderson becoming overwhelmed with his own mental health issues, and turning to alcohol. The court heard he has a neurological disorder which dates back to when he was run over by a car as an 11-year-old and pronounced dead, before recovering.

Chairman of magistrates John Grover sentenced Anderson to 25 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months. He will also pay £300 compensation, he has a 12 month restraining order not to contact a named individual, and must attend rehabilitation activities.

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