TWO drunken yobs who hurled “appalling” racist abuse at a couple before assaulting them both have avoided jail and been told to “take a long, hard look at yourselves”.
Alan Smith (34) and Brittney Peterson (23) attacked an Iranian couple who were visiting Sheffield in September 2020, leaving one victim with a broken nose.
A judge said they had “expressed extreme racist attitudes” during the incident.
Ms Zaiban Alam, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court last Wednesday how the two defendants had been leaving a bar in Leopold Square, Sheffield, when they had an altercation with door staff,
Smith, of Wickersley, was heard telling door staff: “Don’t talk to me like I’m black”, she said.
Ms Alam said the security officers had been so concerned about their behaviour that they alerted the CCTV control room to monitor the couple.
Smith and Peterson, who were both drunk, approached the Iranian couple, who were outside a hotel, and asked them where they were from.
When the victims replied “the Middle East”, Peterson said: ‘Oh, the f***ing Middle East’, and asked them where exactly, Ms Alam said.
She added: “When they said Iran, Peterson demanded to know where that was, and her manner was described as becoming increasingly aggressive.
“Both defendants asked them why they didn’t go back and they replied that they were British citizens.”
Smith and Peterson had told the victims that they should not be here and should go back to Iran, said the prosecutor.
And when the victims had tried to return to their hotel, Peterson had hit the woman, while Smith knocked the male victim to the ground.
The male victim had tried to get between Peterson and his partner to protect her but both defendants continued to hit them, Ms Alam said.
Security officers working at a nearby bar intervened.
The female victim was left with a broken nose, while her male companion suffered head injuries, the court heard.
The male victim said in a statement read out in court that he was confused about how something like this could still happen.
“It makes me very angry and upset as I am a British citizen and I do not expect this to happen to anyone because of their race,” he said.
Peterson, of Sandall Park Drive, Wheatley Hills, Doncaster, admitted racially-aggravated grievous bodily harm while Smith, of Northfield Lane, Wickersley, admitted racially-aggravated unlawful wounding.
Ms Grace Cowell, mitigating, said Smith and Peterson were remorseful and regretted their actions and added that the attack had been “impulsive and spontaneous”.
Judge Sarah Wright sentenced both defendants to 13 months in jail, suspended for two years.
She said they had engaged in “appalling racist abuse”, adding that the victims had been left “angry, upset and distressed”.
The judge added: “Whilst under the influence of alcohol you both expressed extreme racist attitudes.
“You both need to take a long, hard look at yourselves the courts will not tolerate such behaviour.”
Judge Wright ordered both defendants to do 180 hours of unpaid work and pay £500 compensation to each of their victims.
They must serve a four-month .1curfew and up to 25 days of rehabilitation activity requirement.