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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

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Teenagers jailed for racist attack on man in Carlisle park

A teenage boy and girl from Carlisle have been sent to young offenders’ institutes for attacking an Indian man in Rickerby Park.

The 16-year-olds, whose identities are protected by law, were drunk when they launched an unprovoked racist assault on Shibu Augustian as he played football with two of his friends.

Both denied charges of racially aggravated assault and three charges of racially aggravated harassment.

But they were found guilty of the offences after a trial at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court last month. They returned to court yesterday for sentencing.

The attack took place last April and started with the girl and a female friend hurling racist abuse Mr Augustian.

Then they went to get reinforcements and returned with a group of about eight teenagers.

Mr Augustian was punched, kicked to the ground and had his head stamped on.

Prosecutor Ken Hay told the court he needed several operations to repair the damage to his nose and is still suffering the psychological effects of the beating.

Mr Hay said: “He’s scared to go out, he suffers mild panic attacks when he sees large groups of teenagers and now avoids routes where he is likely to see them.

“He suffers flashbacks and can’t sleep. His life has dramatically changed.”

Mr Augustian is a post-graduate student and Mr Hay explained that as well as having to deal with the trauma of the attack, he lost a job opportunity because he was too ill to attend the interview.

John Smith, defending, said the boy was sorry for what he had done and knew his behaviour was unacceptable.

Nick Kennon said the girl also regretted what she did and blamed immaturity for her actions.

Their clients both say they were not usually racist.

District Judge Gerald Chalk said custody was the only option given the severity of the offences.

He told them: “This was a sustained assault on an innocent individual. He was kicked to the floor and stamped on. In my view that is a category one actual bodily harm and there has been an ongoing effect on the victim. I accept that you were of previous good character and that you have shown limited remorse, those factors have reduced your sentence.”

They were each given 12 month detention orders.

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