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Young Shetland Writer 2018 - 1 June 2018

Fined for racial abuse

| Written by Shetland News

A PENSIONER who shouted racially aggravated remarks to a man in a Lerwick town centre shop has been fined £300.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie told Lerwick Sheriff Court on Tuesday that William Smith, of the town’s Commercial Street, said “you fucking Pakistani, get off my island” to the man at Don Leslie.

The 66 year old admitted shouting, swearing and behaving aggressively towards the man at the shop on 19 May, with the offence racially aggravated.

Duncan said the complainer was “minding his own business” in the shop when Smith, who has a drink problem, entered and approached him.

Smith also shouted about Muslims during the incident and held onto the man’s arm.

The fiscal said that despite the pensioner having had drink, he still had enough of his wits about him to try to blame the complainer, “who was wholly innocent in this matter”.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client, who was a first time offender, has “great regret” over the incident and acknowledges that his alcohol use has “got out of hand” in recent years.

The solicitor suggested that his client may have been “short tempered” at the time because he didn’t have his inhaler on him and was suffering some breathing difficulties.

He added that it was his client’s position that the two men did have a discussion beforehand and that he felt offended.

Allan said Smith wanted to offer a “sincere apology” for any trauma caused to the victim and his family.

Sheriff Philip Mann warned Smith that his actions have no place in today’s society and could “tarnish” Shetland’s reputation.

“You have to realise that you just can’t act like this,” he said. “This is a tolerant society, and particularly Shetland is a tolerant place.”

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