Race-hate thug tells victim: ‘I’ll smash your head in – go back to your own country’

Mark Kerton
Mark Kerton

A yob told a shopkeeper he wanted to ‘smash his head in’ and told him to ‘go back to your own country’ during a shocking racist rant – before launching a verbal attack on police who arrested him.

Mark Kerton told Mohinder Singh he knew where he lived and would ‘do time for him’ during an angry confrontation outside his store in Hebburn.

Mark Kerton

Mark Kerton

The 24-year-old had been barred from the VG Convenience store in June of last year due to previous concerns over his behaviour but a fresh row was sparked when the shopkeeper saw Kerton outside his premises getting on a bike belonging to a customer on August 1.

Kerton initially denied using threatening, abusive or insulting words which were racially aggravated at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court last month.

But he failed to show up for his trial last week and a warrant was issued.

He then landed himself with another charge when he verbally abused two police officers who located him at the Travelodge, in Whitemare Pool, and arrested him for his court no-show on Monday.

Kerton, of Thames Road, Hebburn, admitted a charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting words to the arresting officers when he appeared in the custody dock at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday and changed his plea on the racial matter to guilty.

Keith Laidlaw, prosecuting, told the court that Mr Singh had gone outside his shop after spotting Kerton on a bike which had been left by a customer.

Kerton then saw Mr Singh and launched a volley of abuse at him.

Mr Laidlaw said: “Kerton said to him ‘I know where you live, I will be waiting for you. Go back to your own country.

“‘This will never end. I want to smash your head in.

“‘If you want this to be sorted, apologise to me. I will do time’.”

In a statement, Mr Singh said: “I am a hardworking citizen who pays his taxes.

“I shouldn’t have to suffer this kind of abuse.”

Christopher Brown, defending, said: “He accepts he lost his temper.”

Magistrates adjourned the case until October 21 for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on Kerton.

He was granted bail until then, with the conditions he does not contact prosecution witnesses or go within 10 metres of the VG Store.