Shopper in ‘Afro man’ rant at Sunderland sports shop assistant

JD Sports in The Bridges Shopping Centre
JD Sports in The Bridges Shopping Centre
0
Have your say

A shopper hurled abuse and called a store assistant ‘Afro man’ after losing his temper over a pair of trainers.

Mark Forrest, 24, was in JD Sports in The Bridges, Sunderland, on February 23, when he became frustrated with staff, Sunderland magistrates heard.

He was told to leave the store. That made him more angry. He became abusive towards the same worker. He called him Afro man

Jeanette smith, prosecuting

Prosecutor Jeanette Smith: “The defendant picked up a pair of trainers and asked ‘will these shoes be here tomorrow?’

“The shop assistant didn’t understand what he meant. The defendant then said ‘what size is that?’

“Forrest then went to one of the other shop assistants and told him he was a “divvy.”

Sge added: “He was told to leave the store. That made him more angry.

“He became abusive towards the same worker. He called him Afro man.”

The court heard he then repeatedly called the man fat followed by an expletive.

“The incident was captured on CCTV. You could see by his face that he was angry,” Ms Smith added.

“The injured party said during the trial that he was at work trying to do his job.

“He’s had that job for a year and he didn’t expect to be treated that way.”

The court heard Forrest had returned to apologise after the incident.

Forrest, of Waterloo Walk, Sulgrave, Washington, admitted a public order offence. He was cleared after a trial of the offence being racially aggravated.

Paul MacAllindon, defending, said: “The bench decided it wasn’t racially motivated. He was convicted of a public order offence.

“It was a very short incident, between what begins as a normal transaction, and him leaving the store.

“It is something all witnesses agreed escalated out of nothing.

“He reacted in entirely the wrong way.”

Forrest was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 20 days’ specified activity.

The bench also extended an existing supervision order by six months, and was told to pay a £55 fine, £85 costs and £60 victim surcharge.