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Parking incident in Thurso led to racial road rage charge

By Court Reporter

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A minor motor accident escalated into a road rage episode, Wick Sheriff Court heard on Wednesday.

It happened after two drivers, Robert Thorburn and Christopher Bennett, were manoeuvring their vehicles into a parking bay in Meadow Lane, Thurso, on September 22, last year.

Fiscal David Barclay described the accident as "a minor bump". The drivers got out to check the damage and there was an issue about who was to blame.

Mr Barclay said that Thorburn "over-reacted after he became aware of Mr Bennett's English accent and shouted and swore at him uttering something along the lines of, "F****** English c***s, why don't you go back home".

The fiscal continued: "Then Thorburn knocked Mr Bennett's hat and Covid-19 mask off and attempted to grab a pen out of his hand."

Sheriff Andrew Berry quipped: "I assume he wasn't wanting Mr Bennett's autograph."

The sheriff was "left wondering" how such a minor collision could have escalated in the way it did. The incident was captured on CCTV.

Thorburn, a 45-year-old self-employed builder, of Sutherland Court, Thurso, admitted the racially-aggravated assault and was fined £325.

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