A DRUNKEN man who shouted racist abuse while swinging a sock above his head has been labelled “ignorant” by his solicitor.
Stephen Thomas Bellis, 43, of Nant Peris, Blacon had shouted anti-Italian abuse at two Turkish nationals on Bouverie Street, Chester on June 30.
At 6pm, Haluk Yakin and Tezcan Cukurbagli were walking along Bouverie Street speaking in their native tongue about the possibility of opening a business in the city.
At Chester Magistrates Court on Thursday (October 23), prosecutor Sue Gibson said: “The defendant said: ‘Can you speak English? This is not Italy’.”.
He then shouted various obscenities at the pair before pulling a sock from his pocket.
“It appeared to have a stone or rock in the bottom,” added Ms Gibson.
“He began swinging it around. When it collided with a wall it sounded like it was something hard.”
Mr Cukurbagli then picked up an empty glass bottle and raised it above his head because he was scared about what the defendant would do to him. The pair then called the police.
Ms Gibson added: “A female went up to the defendant and the defendant said to her ‘put this somewhere’ giving her the sock with a rock at the bottom. She walked to a public house and put the sock in the bin.”
Yakin told police he was “extremely scared and threatened, and feared for his own and his friend’s safety”.
Bellis only pleaded guilty after a trial had been fixed for September 18 and the complainants had turned up to give evidence.
Neil Catherall, defending, said: “He does have some educational difficulties which have led to a certain level of ignorance with regard to this matter.
“The fact that he thought they were Italian tells you quite a lot about his mindset and his absolute ignorance of these matters.
“He demonstrated to me remorse. He tells me he regrets greatly that he did it and wouldn’t have done it if he was not drunk.”
On September 25, while on bail for the offence, Bellis stole £6.93 of groceries from Tesco on Hartford Way including cider and cheese.
At 4.10pm he walked around the supermarket with a trolley, paying for around £30 worth of goods, but put some items in a rucksack.
Bellis, who has a history of drug and alcohol misuse, had 47 theft or related offences on his criminal record.
Chair Hugh Jones sentenced him to 12 weeks custody, suspended for 18 months and 200 hours unpaid work for racially aggravated threats. Bellis was given a two week term for theft, also suspended for 18 months, and a further 40 hours of unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay £200 in prosecution costs and pay each victim £50 in compensation.