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Customer spits in Lankan shopkeeper's face in UK

This is the shocking moment a vile racist spat in the face of a Sri Lankan shopkeeper in an off-licence - because she did not have the right brand of cigarettes.

CCTV footage shows thug Christopher James Callaghan abusing shop staff and then spitting over the counter in a woman's face.

Callaghan, 30, became angry when staff at Stanley Foods in Bootle, Merseyside, told him they did not have the brand of cigarettes he wanted.

After Nilani Nilalarajah opened the counter to prove to him that the cigarettes were out of stock, Callaghan hurled vile abuse at her and then spat in her face.

A furious Ms Nilalarajah threw an object from the counter back at the yob before calling police.

On Wednesday Callaghan appeared at Sefton Magistrates Court where he pleaded guilty to racially aggravated common assault in relation to the spitting incident on October 10 last year.

He also admitted a racially aggravated offence in relation to a previous incident in the shop, when he hurled racist abuse at Ms Nilalarajah.

The court heard that Ms Nilalarajah was 'disgusted' by Callaghan's behaviour and did not want him in the shop again.

Callaghan, of Roby Street, was jailed for 16 weeks, suspended for two years.

District Judge Miriam Shelvey ordered him to spend 35 days of supervision with the probation service, and to pay the victim 拢250.

The judge also upheld a restraining order which forbids Callaghan from contacting the victim.

The court heard he had a long criminal record, which included a racially aggravated offence in 2013.

Aksha Shahid, senior district crown prosecutor with the CPS, praised Ms Nilalarajah for being brave enough to come forward and report the offence.

She said after the hearing: 'This was a disgusting assault on a woman who was simply doing her job and providing a vital service to the local community.
'The victim was serving behind the counter at the convenience store in Bootle and Callaghan asked for a brand of cigarettes that the store didn't have.

She told Callaghan this but he wouldn't believe her and became abusive, calling her racist names and then he spat at her.

'We call this offending hate crime and it's often committed against victims that the defendant doesn't even know personally and is motivated by hatred of their race, religion or sexual orientation.

'The court accepted that this was a hate crime and increased the sentence by a year as a result.

'Callaghan was known to be an aggressive nuisance in the shop and he has now been sentenced by the courts for behaviour that will not be tolerated.

'The victim was badly shaken up by the ordeal but supported the prosecution and I'd like to thank her for her courage in coming forward and reporting the incident.

'There is also a restraining order in place to prevent the defendant approaching the victim or the shop for the foreseeable future.

'We hope this case gives others the courage to come forward and report this type of despicable behaviour.'(Daily Mail)
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