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Bulgarian takeaway worker was racially abused by Wick man

By Court Reporter

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A Wick takeaway worker was racially abused during a smoking break, the town's sheriff court heard last week.

Ivan Ivanov, a Bulgarian, was outside the outlet in Back Bridge Street when he was confronted by 51-year-old Gordon Green.

Procurator fiscal David Barclay said that Green, who is disabled, shouted and swore at Mr Ivanov.

Green, who had a pizza in his hand, then shouted: "F*** you, you black man."

The incident on the evening of August 23 last year was witnessed by another employee of the takeaway.

Mr Barclay pointed out that Green was very drunk at the time.

The fiscal said there had not been any prior trouble between the pair.

He added: "On any reading, this appears to have been the ramblings of a drunk man than anything more sinister in what is broadly classed as a hate crime."

Green, of Upper Dunbar Street, Wick, admitted acting in a racially aggravated manner by shouting, swearing and making a racist remark.

His not-guilty plea to assaulting Mr Ivanov by repeatedly attempting to punch him was accepted by the Crown.

Solicitor George Mathers said Green had spent many years at sea as a fisherman where he had contact with many different nationalities.

"There was no question of a racial bias as far as he's concerned," Mr Mathers said. "He can hardly believe he uttered those words."

Mr Mathers said his client, who also had a spell as a hotel under-manager, can recall little of the evening because of the drink he had taken.

Green had been the victim of an assault three years ago which caused bleeding to his brain and has left him with permanent brain damage.

He is taking seven different tablets a day and he should not have drunk while on the medication, the court heard.

Mr Mathers said: "He's extremely sorry – he's not in the least a racist individual."

Green, who lives on benefits, has no analogous previous convictions.

Sheriff Ian Miller fined him £220 along with a £10 victim surcharge.

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