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Pair who told bouncer he should be "shipped back to Africa" given community sentence at Exeter court

By RichardBirch  |  Posted: January 04, 2013

  • James Wilson who pleaded guilty to racially aggravated harassment

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A BOUNCER at a city centre pub received a barrage of racist abuse after two men were kicked out for being disruptive.
Stanley Ogbonnaya faced a number of insults including being called a "monkey" and told he should be "shipped back to Africa" by Lucas Cooke and James Wilson who had been drinking in the Chevalier Inn in Fore Street.
Exeter magistrates heard that Wilson, 23, who had been carrying out electrical contract work on the new John Lewis store, and Cooke, 24, also tried to punch him during the incident on September 23.
Both pleaded guilty to causing Mr Ogbonnaya harassment, alarm and distress by using threatening, abusive or insulting words and behaviour and that the offence was racially aggravated.
Karen Ball, prosecuting, said: "They had to be escorted out of the Chevalier after they had caused a nuisance on the dance-floor.
"They immediately became abusive to Mr Ogbonnaya."
She repeated some of the racist language that had been used to the court and added: "They had to be held back by other door-staff. The incident was caught on CCTV including recordings of some of the words which were used.
"They were arrested and Cooke told an officer 'I can't believe you are arresting me when he is not even English' while Wilson said  'immigrants get everything for free and I'm paying for their housing'."
Cooke went on to admit that he had been abusive but initially denied saying anything racist.
Wilson said he had reacted to being "pushed" by the bouncer and claimed he had been insulted. Both told police they had had "about seven pints" but did not feel drunk.
Julia Brassington, representing Wilson, said: "He felt aggrieved about what happened and that he had been taken out more forcibly than he needed to be.
"He does not think he is racist. He has recently turned his life around following a period of imprisonment and this was genuinely a one-off.
"My client is extremely sorry."
Vanessa Francis, representing Cooke, said he had also expressed his remorse.
Both Cooke, of Summerhill Road, Bristol and Wilson, of Waters Road, Bristol, were given community orders which will see them have to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work during the next 12 months. They will also each have to pay Mr Ogbonnaya £50 in compensation and magistrates described the incident as "very unpleasant".

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