Ipswich man, 80, admits racially aggravated common assault

South East Magistrates' Court on Elm Street.

South East Magistrates' Court on Elm Street. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

An 80-year-old man with a previously unblemished record has admitted racially aggravated common assault after an argument following an accident.

Reginald Scrubey, of Khartoum Road, pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared before the town’s magistrates.

Scrubey jabbed Suja Varghese’s chest with a pencil on one occasion and asked her why she did not return to where she had come from, the court heard.

The incident occurred at 10.30am on December 19 following a minor collision in Nelson Road, Ipswich. Mrs Varghese had her child in the car with her at the time.

Prosecutor Ian Devine said it appeared Scrubey believed there was contact between his vehicle and Mrs Varghese’s, which he was annoyed about.


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Both drivers discussed taking each other’s details.

The court heard Scrubey was holding a pencil and as he was talking he was moving his hand up and down.

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Scrubey’s pencil made contact with Mrs Varghese’s chest area. It was suggested he had jabbed her.

Mr Devine told the court Scrubey said: “Why don’t you ******* go back to India or wherever you are from?”

Police subsequently arrested Scrubey.

Mr Devine said: “His reply after caution was, ‘but I’m 80 years old’.”

David Allan, representing Scrubey, said there was no suggestion Mrs Varghese was deliberately jabbed with the pencil. The fault lay with what Scrubey said, which was only one comment, but a regrettable one, magistrates were told.

Mr Allan said the complainant pulled out of a driveway after getting lost and into Scrubey’s path.

Initially there had been no real problem between the pair.

However, when insurance details were requested to be exchanged things began to go awry.

The court was told Scrubey had become frustrated after about 20 minutes at not being able to get the other party’s details, and believed she had said something under her breath.

Contact was made by the pencil as Scrubey was re-emphasising his point and he then made the racial comment.

Mr Allan said: “He’s deeply ashamed. The comment he made was unacceptable and he apologised in interview for his actions.”

Magistrates gave Scrubey a six-month conditional discharge. He must also pay £40 compensation to Mrs Varghese, £85 costs and £20 to the victims’ fund.

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