Racist attacker jailed for eye-gouging Tyneside hotel worker

A hotel worker was punched and had his eyes gouged during a sickening racist attack.

The victim had been carrying out his duties when he was called "n*****" by Christian Jopling, who then subjected him to shocking violence that left him traumatised.

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Newcastle Crown Court heard the victim was employed as a housekeeper at a hotel in the city and was on duty last January when Jopling rushed out of a room and asked "what the f*** are you looking at?"

Prosecutor Chris Baker said the worker walked off and Jopling told him "keep going you f***ing n*****".

The court heard the victim asked Jopling if he had just used the offensive racist term.

Mr Baker added: "He confirmed he had before punching him in the face and trying to drag him into the elevator.

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"The complainant kept hold of Jopling's jacket and pushed him to the wall.

"Mr Jopling placed his thumbs into the victim's eyes and pressed them, with force."

The court heard Jopling continued to attack the victim until the hotel manager intervened.

Jopling then ran towards them both, with a vodka bottle held above his head before he left the hotel.

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The victim went to the Royal Victoria Infirmary and had injuries to his eyes and lips.

In an impact statement, the victim questioned whether he would be able to return to work, which he considered "safe" before the attack and said he needed counselling to cope with what happened to him.

Jopling, 28, of Second Street, Consett, County Durham, who has other violent offences on his record, admitted racially aggravated assault.

Judge Nathan Adams jailed Jopling for 12 months and said: "It was a nasty and racially aggravated assault on a member of hotel staff simply going about their business.

"It was particularly nasty."

Kelly Clarke, defending, said Jopling has sought help and completed courses while in custody on remand and wants to fulfil family responsibilities.