Yob said Metro worker had 'bombs in his bag' during vile race attack

James Lee
James Lee

A passenger has been put behind bars after claiming a Metro worker had "bombs in his bag" during a vile race-hate attack on a train.

James Lee spat at the customer service adviser and told him "I'm white, you are black, this is England, my country" during a shocking tirade that left witnesses sickened.

When the foul-mouthed 23-year-old, of Derby Street, Jarrow, was taken off the train by officials at Central Station, passengers "applauded".

Newcastle Crown Court heard Lee had been approached by two members of staff who spotted him on a train at Monument, lying across the seats, drinking alcohol and becoming aggitated with a woman he was with on July 5.

Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw told the court drinking alcohol on a Metro train is a breach of by-laws and Lee could have faced a fixed penalty notice due to his behaviour.

When the Metro staff approached, Lee was instantly aggressive and said to his victim, who was a black British man of African descent: "You've probably got bombs in your bag, your family have bombs."

Lee told the adviser "I'm white, you're black, I should be searching your bag, you've probably got a bomb in your bag.

"I am white, you are black, this is England, my country."

Lee then spat at his victim, who was left with saliva on his jacket.

The court heard one passenger told police he was "disgusted, embarrassed and ashamed" by what he heard and that other travellers were visibly distressed.

Lee was removed from the train at the next station.

The victim said in a statement the attack "went far beyond" any racism he had encountered before and made his worry about his childrens' future.

He added: "All is did was ask him not to drink."

Lee pleaded guilty to causing racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress.

Mr recorder William Lowe QC jailed Lee, who has convictions for 61 previous offences. for six months and said his abuse was "vile and offensive".

The judge told Lee: "You spat at him, which was an utterly disgusting thing to have done.

"He was, in effect, in a position akin to that of a public servant. He was there to help you and other passengers, which was what he was trained to do.

"He was only asking you to observe by-laws which state clearly you are not allowed to drink alcohol on the Metro but he was abused by you in this vile and offensive way. "

Tony Cornberg, defending, said: "But for drinking alcohol, he would not have said anything on this particular day."

Mr Cornberg said Lee is a carer for his partner, who is pregnant with their first child and suffers health problems.

Mr Cornberg said Lee has "everything to lose now" and added: "He has no animosity towards any group of people."

After the case, a Nexus spokesman said: "Abuse directed at any members of our staff who are just doing their job will simply not be tolerated. Racial abuse has no place in our society.

"This case demonstrates that if you commit crime on the Metro system you will be caught, you will be prosecuted, and you will have to face the consequences of your actions."