Asian man sprayed with fire extinguisher in sickening racist attack at Indian restaurant

An Asian man was sprayed with a fire extinguisher and told "this is the first time you have been white" during a shocking racist attack at a restaurant.

By Karon Kelly
Friday, 15th April 2022, 11:15 am

The victim, who had already been pelted with food by a group during the sickening incident, remained "passive" while vile insults were hurled at him.

At Newcastle Crown Court businessman David Heslop, who runs a property company, admitted a racially aggravated public order offence in relation to what happened at a South Tyneside restaurant on April 22, 2018.

The 36-year-old, who denied being racist, has a previous conviction for a racially aggravated public order offence from 2007 on his record, as well as offences of assault and being drunk on a plane.

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David Heslop was dealt with at Newcastle Crown Court.

Heslop, of Rubens Avenue, South Shields, handed in a character reference from an Imam who said he had never witnessed him being racist and outlined the help he has given at charitable events.

Judge Robert Adams said the words used that night were "pretty grim" and "deeply unpleasant".

But the judge told Heslop it seems "whilst sober you would not have demonstrated such hostility" and added: "Maybe you are not, in fact, a racist person. You will be sentenced on that basis."

Heslop was sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months with £500 costs.

Prosecutor Peter Sabiston said what happened inside the restaurant was partly captured on mobile phone.

Mr Sabiston said: "A lone male on the receiving end of the defendant's behaviour appears to be of Asian heritage.

"The footage shows him covered in food and being pelted by one or more males behind the camera with food."He sits passively, despite audible insults."

Mr Sabiston said the victim's failure to react was likely due to the "intimidation he was subjected to" and added: "The defendant then emerges onto the screen and discharges a fire extinguisher onto the male's body and face, while calling the male (racist insults).

"He added 'this is the first time you have been white' and referred to the male as a 'grass'."

Mr Sabiston said the use of the word "grass" could indicate there was elements of "revenge" in what happened although the background to it remains unclear.

Christopher Knox, defending, said Heslop is the director of a property company in South Shields and not heavily convicted.