A CUSTOMER who was refused service because he appeared drunk launched into a prolonged, racist rant at a shocked Sainsbury’s security guard, Newbury magistrates heard.
Darren Rufus Hatton left before he could be apprehended, but just days later he did it again, the court was told last Thursday.
His victim, Rajiz Butt who works in the Hector’s Way store in Newbury, later told police: “Doing the job I do, I expect abuse, but this was too much. I found it very racist and I was distressed by it.”
Felicity Lineham, prosecuting, said 41-year-old Mr Hatton, formerly of Gaywood Drive, Newbury, but who now lives at Denman Grove, Newbury, tried to buy alcohol in the store but was refused because he appeared to be already intoxicated.
As he left, he made a rude hand gesture at Mr Butt, then launched into a foul-mouthed, racist tirade, concluding: “If you follow me, I’ll drop you,” magistrates were told.
Ms Lineham said: “Four days later this defendant walked back into the same store where the aggrieved was working. Mr Butt recognised him and told the store manager, Mr Burton, about what had happened.”
Noticing this, the court heard, Mr Hatton swore at Mr Butt, asking: “What’s your problem?”
He then launched into another, hate-filled, speech using racial taunts and foul language, said Ms Lineham.
She added that Mr Hatton was subsequently banned from the store and, when arrested, answered “no comment” to all questions.
Mr Hatton, a father of young children, admitted two charges of racially aggravated harassment; one committed on March 9 and the second on March 13 this year.
His list of previous convictions include offences of a similar nature, although without the racially aggravated element, the court heard.
Ben May, defending, said his client has suffered from alcohol problems for many years.
He added:“You will notice there was a gap in his offending. This was when he went ‘on the wagon’ and became teetotal. But he fell off the wagon quite spectacularly. He had a disagreement with his partner and, as a result, went on a four-day ‘bender’.
“He has no memory off those four days. He gave ‘no comment’ answers because he simply couldn’t remember. He is very sorry and ashamed of his actions.”
Mr May said his client was in receipt of benefits and would be unable to pay a large fine.
After retiring to confer, magistrates adjourned sentencing for reports to be prepared.
Mr Hatton was meanwhile released on unconditional bail.