SCUMWATCH | 13.07.2004 17:22 | Anti-racism
A former member of the British National Party who hurled racial abuse at the owner of a fast food outlet has been given a night-time ban from every takeaway in Plymouth for the next five years.
Gavin Pierre Hewett, 33, threw his BNP membership card across the counter of Ali Baba's takeaway in Notte Street and told the proprietor to 'go back to your own country'.
Hewett, of Hill Park Crescent, North Hill, also went into the Favourite Pizza takeaway in Notte Street on the same night where he was abusive, including throwing BNP cards at staff and customers.
Hewett's drunken behaviour, in the early hours of Sunday, May 23, was witnessed by an off-duty police officer, who was in one of the takeaways, Plymouth magistrates were told.
Officers were called to the scene as back-up and Hewett became so threatening, throwing more BNP cards at them, that he was forcibly put on the ground by officers.
At Charles Cross police station Hewett again had to be restrained when being taken to the cells.
Hewett accused one police officer, a Scotsman, of being racist because 'there was a Scottish National Party which governed Scotland', the court was told.
Hewett pleaded guilty to charges of racially-aggravated harassment, alarm or distress and causing intentional harassment, alarm or distress. He also admitted being in breach of a conditional discharge, imposed after a conviction for drug possession.
His solicitor, John Major, said Hewett and a friend had been to Mexico and on the night of the offences they had consumed all their duty-free purchases - 48 small cans of lager.
Hewett had then gone out drinking in pubs in the city and had 'no recollection' of the incidents in Notte Street.
Hewett, he said, had not renewed his membership of the British National Party and understood his behaviour was unacceptable.
District judge Paul Farmer heard an application for an anti-social behaviour order to be imposed on Hewett. The application, made on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service by Dylan Sadler, solicitor for the city council's anti-social behaviour unit, was granted.
The five-year order prohibits Hewett from engaging in any behaviour which causes harassment, alarm or distress to anyone in Plymouth.
He must not kick, hit or strike anyone except in self-defence, and must not use racial language or use racist gestures. In addition, he is barred from entering any takeaway in Plymouth after 9pm for the next five years.
For the offences in the Notte Street food outlets, Hewett was given a four-month curfew, to stay indoors daily from 9pm to 6am, a 12-month community rehabilitation order, with the requirement to attend a programme to address substance-related offending, and to pay £43 court costs.
After the hearing, Inspector Mike Pope, the city's South Sector inspector, said the police treated all allegations of a racist nature very seriously.
He said: "We investigate them thoroughly, and alcohol-related violence in the city centre, whether racist or not, will not be tolerated.''
If Hewett breaches the conditions of his Asbo he could face a prison sentence of up to five years.