Thug is too early for lager offer so launched attack on worker in front of the police

Burnley Magistrates Court.

Burnley Magistrates Court.

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A drunken thug launched a racial attack on a shop worker in front of police – after he had turned up too early for a special offer on lager, a court heard.

Burnley magistrates were told how jobless Matthew Irvine (24) who has a record for racial offences, repeatedly punched and verbally abused Prabhu Gunaskeran after targeting him as he locked up at the Premier Store on Coal Clough Lane in the town.

He had pounced from behind and then stood in front of his victim, raising his fists and challenging him to a fight. Mr Gunaskeran, who is Malaysian, suffered soreness to the left side of his face and a rib and had to see his doctor.

The hearing was told alcohol-dependent Irvine had earlier got angry in the shop because he had had a flyer through his door about the lager offer, but it hadn’t yet started.

Irvine was convicted twice of racially aggravated offences in 2009, has 10 convictions for assault and others for public disorder and being drunk and disorderly. He relies on his mother who he lives with, for money after his benefits were sanctioned.

The defendant, of Swallow Park, Burnley, was spared jail, after admitting racially aggravated common assault on October 29th. He was given 10 weeks in jail, suspended for a year, with a 45 day rehabilitation activity requirement and six months’ alcohol treatment and was ordered to pay £50 compensation and a £180 criminal courts charge.

Irvive was also handed a 12 month restraining order, banning him from contacting his victim and from going within 10 metres of the store.