Man jailed after hurling racist abuse at South Shields takeaway staff

Jonathan Johnson
Jonathan Johnson

A man who hurled racist abuse at takeaway workers has been jailed.

Jonathan Johnson referred to kitchen staff at Hot 'n' Tasty takeaway in South Shields using racist terms.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Johnson entered the establishment near closing time on January 11 last year.

The 36-year-old took a can of pop from the fridge before approaching the counter but refused to pay for anything because of the race of the owners, who described using racist language.

The court heard the situation escalated when the manager asked him to leave and there was a struggle between Johnson and the manager.

The defendant then called the chefs, who were Lebanese, another racist term.

Johnson, of Buxton Close, Jarrow, South Tyneside, was found guilty after a trial of racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress.

He was also sentenced for failing to surrender after failing to attend a hearing at South Tyneside Magistrates Court on May 1 last year.

Nick Lane, defending, told the court how Johnson had in fact had a relationship with a woman who was not of British origin and that he "still has some contact with the child that was the product of that relationship."

He said that Johnson was not receiving appropriate treatment for his mental health at the time of the incident, which could be an "underlying reason" why he responded in such a way on the night in question.

Mr Lane added that Johnson was now willing to engage in a behavioural treatment programme.

During his sentencing hearing today, Johnson entered the dock on crutches due to "historical problems with his back" and continuously interjected during proceedings.

Judge Amanda Rippon sentenced him to 34 weeks in prison and told him: "I will not tolerate behaviour like this."