A COUNCIL driver who drunkenly shouted racist abuse at a teenager and assaulted her 17-year-old friend in a supermarket car park has appeared in court.
Jonathan Murphy, of Walnut Drive, Weaverham, Northwich, hurled racist abuse at one of the teenagers, calling her a pig before punching her friend in the face as she retaliated to the abuse.
The 23-year-old started work as an HGV driver for Cheshire West and Chester Council eight months ago after coming out of jail for assault and criminal damage back in 2010 which saw him struck-off from the Army after five years of duty.
On Tuesday Murphy appeared before Chester magistrates and pleaded guilty to common assault and a racially aggravated assault.
Murphy, who is said to remember nothing about the attack, was sentenced to ten weeks imprisonment suspended for 18 months and ordered to take part in a promoting human dignity course.
He will also pay £100 to both of the 17-year-old victims and £300 towards court costs.
The court heard how on March 23 three 17-year-old girls were crossing Tesco car park on Manchester Road in Northwich when they were taunted by a group of men who laughed at them while directing racist language at one of the girls.
The girls responded by calling the three men, who were clearly intoxicated, ‘childish’ before Murphy hurled racist abuse at the 17-year-old telling her to ‘go back to your own country’.
Prosecuting, Rob Youd said one of the girl’s friends reacted angrily and started pushing Murphy in the chest, causing him to fall backwards into a hedge.
“Murphy then got up and walked towards them, he struck her in the face on her right cheek and caused her to fall to the ground,” said Mr Youd, who said Murphy denied being involved in the attack, claiming to be staying with a friend at the time.
Murphy, who has three convictions for six offences, initially pleaded not guilty to the offences but changed his plea before trial.
Defending, Andy Pilkington said: “Following his release from prison and discharge from the Army he was down. He had got employment as a HGV driver for the council and is earning a decent amount of money, which he stands to lose now.
“This offence is really out of character. It was a foolish act in the company of friends. He is not a racist and is remorseful for what he has done.”