Ipswich: Road rage racist told victims: Beg for mercy foreigners

IPSWICH: A motorist who brandished a hammer during a road rage incident and told a terrified family to “beg for mercy, foreigners” is today behind bars.

Reuben Freeman lost his temper because he thought he had been “cut up” by another motorist in Wherstead Road and after swearing at him he had followed the driver to a nearby address, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

Freeman, 30, had got out of his Ford Focus and walked over to the car driven by Michael Kupis, who had his father and sister as passengers in the vehicle, said Michael Crimp, prosecuting.

Mr Crimp said Freeman was aggressive and had “pushed out his chest” and had made a comment about “you foreigners.”

Mr Kupis’s father had tried to get out of the car but had been stopped by his son because he was concerned about what might happen.

Freeman had gone back to his car and returned with a silver hammer which he waved about and continued being abusive, said Mr Crimp.

He said the incident lasted several minutes and before leaving Freeman had said, “Beg for mercy you foreigners” and “You’re dead.”

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He had also told the frightened family, “I’ll find you again and kill you,” and spat on the windscreen, said Mr Crimp.

Freeman, of Virginia Street, Ipswich admitted causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress and was jailed for six months.

Sentencing him Judge Peter Fenn described his behaviour as “disgusting” and said the incident must have been terrifying for Mr Kupis and his family.

He said it was necessary to pass a prison sentence to punish Freeman and to deter others who might in a “road rage style incident” use the sort of language and behaviour used by Freeman to someone of a different nationality.

Roger Thomson for Freeman said the incident wasn’t motivated by racial prejudice.

Mr Thomson said Freeman felt he had been “cut up” by Mr Kupis and had followed him round the corner.

He said Freeman accepted his behaviour had been a complete over-reaction and Mr Kupis and his family must have been terrified.

At the time he had been dealing with the break up of a relationship and had been feeling angry.

n Have you been a victim of crime? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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