Drunken knifeman blames media for vile racist outburst

This Is Wiltshire: Damien Healy received a one year jail term suspended for 18 months Damien Healy received a one year jail term suspended for 18 months

A DRUNKEN knifeman who shouted abuse while waving a blade blamed the media and politicians for sparking his vile racist outburst.

Damien Healy, who has a previous conviction for the same offence, brandished the blade as he threatened some Asian men outside a pub.

But the 33-year-old was spotted a couple of off duty policemen who tailed him until uniformed officers arrived to grab him.

And his solicitor told a judge because the media and politicians talk about foreign workers 'It gives, I suppose, a feeling of some ability to say stupid things when drunk'.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court two brothers, who are Metropolitan police officers, were on a night out in Swindon on Monday May 12.

As they were passing The Savoy at about 11pm they saw a white man being abusive to a group of dark skinned men who looked like they were from India or Goa.

He was shouting abuse, swearing and calling them 'Pakis', before the brothers heard one of the men saying 'He's got a knife, leave it', as they backed away.

They were able to see he was waving a Stanley knife saying 'Come on you Paki c***', but as they walked off, so did he.

Mr Meeke said the officers dialled 999 and followed him waiting for assistance, even speaking to Healy who carried on racist language, repeatedly using the 'n word'.

As uniformed cops arrived the brothers took him to the ground, fearing he would pull out the knife again, and he was arrested.

Healy, of Hughes Street, admitted racially aggravated threatening behaviour and possessing a bladed article.

The court heard he had previous convictions for shoplifting, drink driving, drugs offences and an identical racially aggravated offence.

Rob Ross, defending, said his client was feeling sorry for himself at the time as he was out of work but he now had a job with Persimmon Homes.

He said "The very sad world we live in, it seems quite respectable for newspapers and political parties to suggest all our problems are down to people from other countries.

"It gives I suppose a feeling of some ability to say stupid things when drunk. It seems when not drunk or drinking this man is a perfectly respectable member of the public."

Passing sentence Recorder Ian Lawrie QC said "Your behaviour on the night in question when clearly very drunk was thoroughly offensive, you appreciate that.

"Don't take it to heart what the media and politicians say about migrant workers, it is thorough nonsense whether or not you think your job is at threat from foreign workers.

"This is serious because you had a Stanley knife which you waved about. Also you have a previous conviction for a near identical offence in 2005. It shows to me that you have not learned you lesson.

"I am very pleased you have work with Persimmon Homes, a reputable company. It is a good job. The fact you shouldn't rely on what the media and politicians say is that that you have got a job with Persimmon Homes: it shows it's nonsense."

He imposed a one year jail term suspended for 18 months and told him to complete 100 hours of unpaid work, supervision and alcohol treatment as well as £600 costs and £100 surcharge.

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