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Civil servant in dock over racist comment

David Martin told a Norwich takeaway joint owner, "Stop shoving your rubbish in my letterbox. Go back home to your own country."

india Updated: Jan 07, 2006 19:48 IST

In a bizarre case of racism, a civil servant who became fed-up with getting junk mail through his door scrawled racist abuse on takeaway menus before returning them to the restaurant owners.

David Martin told the owner of the Pizza Go Go takeaway in Norwich, "Stop shoving your rubbish through my letterbox. Go back home to your own country."

Some weeks after that he was seen shoving menus through the door of the Jewel of India restaurant, before telling owner Jewel Miah, "This is England. Don't forget it. Go back to your own country."

Martin, 43, appeared before Norwich Magistrates' Court and admitted two offences of racially aggravated disorderly conduct. He was given a one-year conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £90 costs.

Tamer Kaya, the manager of Pizza Go Go who came to Britain from Turkey 18 years ago, said after the case, "I'm not bothered whether he got a one-year conditional discharge or 10 years in prison; it's just that he was caught and dealt with. He might learn his lesson and change his views about foreigners in this country. He doesn't even know me. I have three children they are all British and my wife is British. You don't make comments about people like that. I was not happy at all."

Magistrate Elizabeth Powell told Martin, "You made your racist views quite clear. You didn't hesitate to make it clear what racist views you had and that makes it more serious. We think you did it intentionally."

The court was told Martin suffered from an identity disorder. Prosecutor Rachel Tucker said that on October 4 last year, Kaya found one of the takeaway's own leaflets returned through the door.

Police found a fingerprint on the edge of the leaflet and it turned out to be the defendant's.

On November 9 he was seen outside the Jewel of India, putting menus through the restaurant's letterbox. Owner Jewel Miah went outside and brought him into the restaurant. When the door was locked because of concern about Martin's behaviour, he became aggressive and verbally abusive.

Miss Tucker said, "He (Miah) had never had any trouble like that before."

When questioned by the police, Martin expressed his views about immigrants coming to this country.

Regarding the first incident he accepted he might have returned a leaflet, but could not remember exactly what he had written on it. He accepted he should not have done it and said he might have acted irrationally on that occasion.

Martin also told police he had been angry when he saw some menus in the King's Head pub, which is near the Indian restaurant. "He didn't want people spending money at a restaurant run by people he didn't perceive to be English," said Miss Tucker.

Martin's defence lawyer Alistair Taunton said he had acted irrationally after he had been drinking.

First Published: Jan 07, 2006 19:48 IST