Said he was ‘making stand against Muslims’

Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.
Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.

A man who was racially abusive claiming he was ‘making a stand against Muslims’ was sentenced to a total of nine months in prison last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

Andrew James McClean (30), Banbridge Road, Waringstown, admitted criminal damage to a television belonging to the PSNI, disorderly behaviour, obstructing police and criminal damage to a signing pad.

For each of the offences he was sentenced to six months in prison with the terms to run concurrently. Three months of suspended sentences were also activated, to run consecutively, making a total of nine months in custody.

A public prosecutor said the offences were considered ‘hate crimes’.

She said that on January 18 this year at 7.25pm the defendant was seen outside Lurgan police station.

He pretended to urinate and told police to ‘call me Mohammed’ in a loud voice. He refused to give his details and said to an officer ‘you’re a dirty Muslim b—d, you disgust me’ before continuing with more racial slurs and adding ‘I’ll do two years for the cause.’

Inside the police station he was asked to sign the electronic signing pad but spat on it instead and when he was in a cell he again pretended to urinate. He said he wanted to go to Maghaberry.

At Banbridge enquiry office he damaged a television and admitted that he had ‘just broken the TV’ before saying he was making a stand against Muslims.

Mr Conor Downey, representing the defendant, said McClean would apologise for his ‘horrendous comments’ adding that alcohol and other substances were involved.

He explained that the defendant would not wish to have the benefit of a pre-sentence report and waste the court’s time. Mr Downey added that there had been a severe dip in his client’s fortunes which led him to abusing substances.

District Judge Oonagh Mullan said these types of hate crimes were totally unacceptable.