September 7, 2008

‘Evil’ Racist Used Bat in Store Row

By David O'Callaghan

A Swansea man who brandished a baseball bat as he yelled racist abuse at a shopkeeper has been jailed for eight months.

Peter Beynon was sent down after a judge told him: "Racism is evil and those who indulge in racially-aggravated violence must expect to be punished severely.

"Racism must not be allowed to flourish."

Swansea Crown Court heard that 31-year-old Beynon, of Maytree Close, Clase, was arrested after an incident at a shop near his home last February.

He admitted offences of racially-aggravated affray and having an offensive weapon in a public place when he appeared before Recorder Peter Heywood.

Sara Lambert, prosecuting, said that on the afternoon of February 9, Rajwinder Kur was running her business at Clase Supermarket in Solva Road when Beynon entered the premises to buy an electricity token.

At the shop, he was racially abusive to Mrs Kur, swearing at her and shouting: "You lot are everywhere. Go back to your own country. I'll have you if I see you anywhere."

After leaving the shop, the court heard Beynon returned a short time later - but this time he was armed with a baseball bat.

Miss Lambert said Beynon complained that he had been unable to get the electricity token to work. He then brandished the bat in an aggressive and threatening way and continued to abuse Mrs Kur in racist terms, telling her: "You can't speak English. Leave my country."

The court heard that Beynon left the shop after a brief struggle, in which a male member of staff managed to grab the bat from him.

His solicitor, Stuart John, said: "He accepts responsibility for his actions that day.

"He is adamant that he does not hold any racist beliefs or views, and that the things said were in the heat of the moment.

"He has reached a point in his life where drugs are a major issue, but he was not under the influence of drugs on this particular afternoon."

Sentencing, the judge said it was a serious case and a term of immediate custody was unavoidable.

"What you did was appalling, frightening and inexcusable," he told Beynon.

"It is clear you were aggressive and threatening in the way you waved that bat around. It was clearly a very frightening experience for members of staff who were carrying out a public service."

(c) 2008 South Wales Evening Post. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.