Man convicted of racial abuse following 2014 incident at home of Pakistani men in north Belfast
Categories: Latest News
Tuesday May 24 2016
The Irish Times reports on the guilty verdict passed in the trial of a man charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour intending to stir up hatred or arouse fear following an alleged assault on two Pakistani men at their home in Belfast in 2014.
Mohammed Asif Khattak and a fellow resident were verbally abused and allegedly assaulted when a group of people gathered outside their home in north Belfast on Sunday 1 June, 2014.
The two Pakistani male victims claim a bottle was thrown through the window and the two residents verbally abused before some of the group outside their property tried to force their way into their home. The second victim was allegedly assaulted inside his home.
Mr Khattak suffered injuries to his foot in the attack last June. Northern Ireland police confirmed the incident was being investigated as a hate crime. He had spoken at the time of his fear of remaining in Northern Ireland saying “We are scared now and my family and friends are telling me to come back to London.”
This week John Montgomery, 59, who lives on the same street as the victims, appeared before Belfast Magistrates’ Court charged with racial incitement offences in connection with the verbal abuse. He was not implicated in the alleged assault or criminal damage to the victims’ property.
Mr Montgomery denied uttering racist abuse saying he had entered the victim’s home to remove two or three others who had made their way inside.
Mr Khattak rejected Montgomery’s version of events and wept in court recounting the abuse experienced on the day. He told the court, “They were calling us Paki b*******, dirty Arabs [and] saying, ‘get out of our street, get out of our country’.”
Montgomery was found guilty of one charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour intending to stir up hatred or arouse fear, contrary to the Public Order (Northern Ireland) Order 1987.
He will return to court in July for sentencing.