Dungannon man jailed for 12 months for racist attack

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A Dungannon man who smashed the window of his neighbour’s house in what police described as a ‘racially motivated’ attack has been sentenced to 12 months in prison.

Gary Ashley Smyth, 31, of Lisnaclin Court, Dungannon pleaded guilty to criminal damage, disorderly behaviour and attempted intimidation of residence.

A court was told how police were called to an incident by the victim who said she was awoken at around 2.35am on August 25 last year after hearing 3 loud bangs outside her bedroom window.

The victim told officers she then heard a smashing sound and looked out to see her front window had been smashed and spotted the defendant running away shouting: “f*****g b*****ds, f*****g foreigners, get out now!”

The victim then phoned her friend who lived across the road and she came out and saw the defendant running away up the street and heard him shout the abusive language.

Police later located the defendant and he was conveyed to the custody suite. Police also located a red brick and large stone in the front garden of the victim’s house which she said were not there before the attack. The victim had CCTV installed on the house but the camera did not have a good view of the front of the property. The victim informed officers that three Lithuanian nationals lived at her address and they were in fear of their lives following attacks.

A defence solicitor for Mr Smyth told the court the incident which his client was involved in was one which was ‘drunken’.

He said his client bears no malice to members of community who come from any other area or European citizens. He added that his client works presently in the Tuck Shop in the prison in which he works alongside other inmates of various nationalities with no difficulty,

Deputy District Judge Pat Magill sentenced Mr Smyth to 12 months in prison for criminal damage, 9 months in prison for attempted intimidation to run concurrent, and two months suspended from a previous offence to run concurrent. He also ordered him to pay £25 offender levy.