Men jailed for racist attack

TWO attackers are today behind bars after carrying out a vicious racially aggravated assault on a shopkeeper.

TWO attackers are today behind bars after carrying out a vicious racially aggravated assault on a shopkeeper.

John Warth and William Coulthard are set to serve several months in prison for the late-night attack, which saw them knock Ali Keder Ahmedunconscious in Willoughby Road, Ipswich, and use weapons to beat him with while he was on the ground.

Coulthard, 27, of Woollards Close, Ipswich, had admitted racially aggravated assault causing actual bodily harm but Warth, 26, of Brownrigg Walk, off Hawes Street, Ipswich, had denied the charge but was found guilty by a jury.

Warth also pleaded guilty to breaching a suspended sentence at Ipswich Crown Court.

Coulthard was given a total of 20 months in prison for the offences and Wrath was given 24 months in prison. Wrath's suspended sentence of 16 weeks was activated and will run consecutively.

The court heard yesterdayhow Mr Ahmed was walking near the railway station just after midnight on May 25 last year with a few friends when he was racially abused by Coulthard.

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Mr Ahmed tried to ignore him but Coulthard became more aggressive and the two friends ran off, leaving Mr Ahmed alone. Coulthard and Warth then punched him to the ground, knocking him unconscious. They were then seen by witnesses picking up a 'For Sale' sign and a grill pan taken from a bin and use them as weapons while the victim lay on the ground.

Fortunately Mr Ahmed did not suffer serious injuries but described in a statement which was read to the court that he has had severe headaches, anxiety and sleepless nights since the attack.

Gregory Perrins, mitigating for Coulthard-a father of two- said: “He accepts full responsibility for his actions. He is apologetic and does not seek to justify his behaviour in any way.

“He has done what he can to distance himself from his co-defendant and also sought to deal with his excessive drinking.”

Matthew Edwards, mitigating for Warth, said: “This was not a premeditated attack. It wasn't a planned racial assault. The instigator of this assault was Coulthard.”

The court heard that in 2000 Coulthard and Warth were convicted for causing grievous bodily harm with intent when they hit a victim with paving slabs, resulting in him having a third of his brain removed.

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

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