A drunken man engaged in a tirade of abuse with a security guard on the Metro after he was asked to stop drinking on board.
Steven Bennett was drinking a can of lager on the Metro when a security guard approached him and asked him to stop.
But the 32-year-old dad refused, and began acting aggressively towards the man, making references to “Mozambique” before screaming “I’ve lived in this country all my life, get off my Metro”.
Bennett then began shadowboxing and offered to fight the security guard in front of other passengers. The incident, which lasted minutes, only ended when one passenger told Bennett to stop.
Bennett, of Oak Grove, Forest Hall, North Tyneside, appeared at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court this week facing a racially aggravated public order offence. He pleaded guilty to the offence, which happened on August 26 last year.
The court heard that Bennett was “consuming alcohol” on the Metro between South Gosforth and Benton at around 9pm when he was approached by a security guard due to it being prohibited. Bushra Begum, prosecuting, said: “[The victim] advised the defendant to stop consuming alcohol and vacate the Metro. [This] resulted in the defendant becoming confrontational and shouting at the victim.”
The security guard’s body-worn camera footage captured the incident and was shown in court. It showed a drunken Bennett saying he was “singing my national anthem” and asking what religion the victim was. He also made references to Mozambique and that the man was a “minority”. He then began screaming at the victim, telling him: “I’ve lived in this country all my life, get off my Metro.”
Ms Begum added: “He continued his aggressive behaviour and was shadowboxing and offering to fight the victim.” Bennett then got off the Metro before being arrested.
Kashif Khan, defending, said Bennett, who had five previous convictions for six offences, said that he had initially been polite to the security guard, and had been calling him “sir”. But he said once he was told to get off the Metro, it turned into a “barrage of nastiness”.
He said: “He accepts he made the comments but wants me to express that he doesn’t share any kind of racist views. The complainant claims there were concerns this would become physical. Yes, he shadowboxes, but he was moving his body and was not throwing punches.”
Mr Khan said that on the night of the incident, a family matter caused Bennett to drink alcohol to “deal with his emotions”, causing him to act in a way he would not ordinarily. He said Bennett had mental health issues and was “ashamed of his actions”, adding: “The defendant’s child’s mother is of Caribbean race…he wishes he could apologise to [the victim] directly.”
Bennett, who is on benefits, was given a 12 month community order and must complete 20 rehabilitation days. A six month electronic curfew between 9pm and 7am was also made. He must also pay £150 compensation, a £114 surcharge and £85 costs.