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Racial abuse lands seven-week jail term

PUBLISHED: 01:00 23 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:36 03 March 2010

A MAN who shouted racist comments at a police officer and spat at him from a prison cell in Ipswich is today starting a seven-week jail term.

After being arrested on a warrant, unemployed Gary Jay shouted abuse at police officer Michael Cheong and spat at him.

A MAN who shouted racist comments at a police officer and spat at him from a prison cell in Ipswich is today starting a seven-week jail term.

After being arrested on a warrant, unemployed Gary Jay shouted abuse at police officer Michael Cheong and spat at him.

At South East Suffolk Magistrates Court yesterday the 38-year-old, of Norfolk Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to a charge of racially aggravated assault.

Margaret Cutts, prosecuting, said: "This offence arises out of an incident that took place in the cells in Ipswich."

She told the court that Jay was arrested on June 6 and put in a police cell. He was observed by Pc Cheong.

She said: "The defendant said he didn't like foreign coppers to Pc Cheong. He was abusive towards the officer and spat at him and slammed the door in his face."

He continued to spit at the officer through a hatch in the cell door.

Ms Cutts said the officer was "threatened and alarmed" by the incident.

Roger Thomson, in mitigation, said Jay fully admitted what had happened and asked for credit to be given for his early guilty plea.

He added: "He tells me he is not racist and has got various friends from ethnic backgrounds."

In passing sentence, Bernadette Stowe, chairman of the bench, said: "We give you credit for your guilty plea but this offence is so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified."

She continued: "You spat at a police officer when he was on duty and it was a racially aggravated offence."

Jay was sentenced to a six-week prison term. He was also told he will serve a further week behind bars as an alternative punishment to cover fines he owes the court of £254.


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