Cookstown man used cloth as mock turban during racist attack in Indian restaurant


A Cookstown man has been fined £500 after he carried out an assault at an Indian restaurant in Scotland and hurled racist abuse.

It has been reported that Desmond Bell, 50, of Park Avenue, Cookstown, fell out of favour with staff at the Raba in Lerwick when he turned up drunk, Lerwiff Sherrif Court heard.

In the dock before sheriff Philip Mann he admitted punching a man on the head in a racially aggravated manner.

Staff at the Raba restaurant were subjected to racist abuse.

According to the court report in the Shetland Times website, he became aggressive and shouted abuse at staff – at one point picking up a cloth and fashioning a makeshift turban for his head.

Bell, a groundworker on contract to the isles, was taken into custody and spent a night in the cells prior to his appearance in court.

In the dock before sheriff Philip Mann he admitted punching a man on the head in a racially aggravated manner.

He also pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, shouting, swearing and being racially abusive towards members of staff.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Bell was drunk when he went into the restaurant shortly before midnight.

Bell was approached by a member of staff who told him the dining service had concluded for the evening.

“He was dissatisfied about that,” Mr MacKenzie told the court, adding two female customers, as well as staff, were subjected to his behaviour.

“He picked up a cloth from one of the tables and wrapped it round his head, imitating the turban headdress.”

Bell then spoke with a mock Indian accent but, despite being repeatedly asked to leave, launched a tirade of racial abuse.

He demanded of staff: “What are you doing in this country, you f***ing Indian bastard?”

Bell was eventually ushered out of the premises, but while on the doorstep launched his assault on one of the staff members.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said it was “hard to put a positive spin” on Bell’s “atrocious” behaviour.

He said divorced Bell had never been in this kind of trouble before, and did not know if he would be able to hold on to his job.

“By his own words he was intoxicated and he has a very sparse recollection of what took place,” Mr Allan said.

“I asked him what he’d like to say about this and he said he was heartfully sorry, and would like to apologise to everybody.”

Sheriff Philip Mann told Bell: “This behaviour is rightly described by your agent as atrocious, and it can’t be condoned in any way.”

“Those of different races … are entitled to be in this country and are entitled to go about their business without being abused.”

Fining him, he said he hoped Bell would reflect carefully on his future behaviour.