Mon, 16 Nov 2020
A MAN who racially abused a police officer has been jailed after his excuse that his drinks were spiked with drugs was rejected.
Peter Paul Kelly, 51, was gibbering and behaving so bizarrely after apparently consuming a cocktail of alcohol and MDMA, or ecstasy, that officers took him to hospital.
On the way he continued racially abusing a police woman and yelling “Allahu Akbar” – Arabic for ‘God is greatest.’
But a district judge dismissed his claim that his drink had been spiked without his knowledge.
Natasha Lake, prosecuting at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, November 5, said officers had cause to go to the Two Saints hostel in Newtown Road, Newbury, and speak to Mr Kelly, who was living there.
Although initially compliant, he began acting strangely, alternately abusing the officer and her colleagues, then apologising.
Another officer told the court: “Mr Kelly said he had taken ecstasy and alcohol and would have to be taken to hospital before going into custody.”
Police body camera footage showed Mr Kelly banging his head against the inside of the police van and shouting incoherently.
However, at one point he stated, more clearly: “My head’s gone funny.”
After being admitted to hospital for observation, he said later in a statement: “I think someone must have put something in my drinks.
“I only had four cans of lager and I can’t remember anything about the evening.”
He then responded “No comment” to all questions put to him.
Mr Kelly, who has 94 previous convictions, including for racially aggravated public order offences, denied racially aggravated harassment on this occasion, Wednesday, August 12.
He further denied thereby breaching a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) and a suspended sentence order for breaking an ASBO (Antisocial Behaviour Order) imposed just two weeks prior to the latest incident.
Giving evidence from the witness box, Mr Kelly said: “I know something was put in my drink. Colour and creed don’t bother me.”
Steve Molloy, defending, said the prosecution had to prove intent in order to meet the legal criteria for the charge and that, because his client had been substantially impaired through no fault of his own, he would have been unable to form one.
District judge Polly Gledhill was not convinced.
Finding Mr Kelly guilty, she rejected his claim of drink spiking and said: “I note you said to the officer ‘I’ve taken something.’
“And your amnesia is very convenient. I’m satisfied you did have the requisite intent...to cause harassment, alarm or distress and that it was racially aggravated.”
Ms Gledhill said she was immediately activating the six-week suspended prison sentence and would add a further six weeks to it, to run consecutively.
In addition, she ordered Mr Kelly to pay the racially abused officer £100 compensation when he is released, warning: “Hate crimes like this won’t be tolerated.”