Racial abuse pair spared jail sentences

Two men have avoided jail after racially abusing yeshivah students during a drunken rampage.

Mark Padgett and Karl Bowman taunted the students at Gateshead Talmudical College and tried to provoke them into fighting in the street.

The pair had been drinking at a house party before the incident in May.

Padgett, 19, of Saltwell Road, Gateshead, caused more than £1,000 of damage to the yeshivah by battering the front door with a plank of wood. He also smashed a car windscreen.

He admitted a charge of racially aggravated disorder, two criminal damage charges and possession of an offensive weapon earlier this year and was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court last Thursday.

Judge Beatrice Bolton told him: "It's time you grew up, young man. You are in the big boys' court and get big boys' sentences." The court heard that Padgett had breached an anti-social behaviour order which had banned him from drinking in the street. He has been repeatedly barred from pubs because he does not look old enough to be allowed in.

Prosecutor Sue Baker told the court that Padgett and Bowman had been to a party and had then "decided to go and wind up Jews for a laugh".

Judge Bolton said: "Your behaviour was absolutely appalling. You set about intimidating a group of Jewish students for no better reason than they are Jewish and look a little different."

She sentenced Padgett to eight weeks in jail, suspended for 18 months, and an 18-month supervision order.

Bowman, 20, of Shipcote, Gateshead, admitted racially aggravated disorder and possession of an offensive weapon and was also sentenced to eight weeks in jail, suspended for 18 months, with an 18-month supervision order.

    Last updated: 9:44am, October 15 2010