A SEBASTOPOL man who racially abused and seriously assaulted a young Indian restaurant owner has been labelled a coward by a magistrate.
Describing the bashing on June 7 this year, magistrate Gerard Lethbridge yesterday said the attack was a “racist tirade” which was “cowardly and unjustified”.
“This man was doing nothing wrong when he was subjected to this vile and racist attack,” Mr Lethbridge said.
Matthew Carroll, 20, who pleaded guilty to recklessly causing serious injury and using indecent language, was fined almost $9000 and given a six-month jail term, suspended for 12-months.
The court heard Carroll was walking through the Bridge Mall with a group of males about 9.30pm on June 7 when the group spotted three men standing by a car.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Michelle Kilburn said Carroll and his mates thought the men were security guards and began yelling abuse at the men.
“They were calling the men pretend cops,” Senior Constable Kilburn told the court.
Realising the men weren’t security guards, Carroll continued yelling abuse at the Indian men, referring to them as “pakis” while telling them to “go back to your own country”.
Himanshu Goyal, 22, who at the time was closing his Indian restaurant, walked towards Carroll and asked him why he was insulting him and his friends.
The court heard Carroll continued to shout racial abuse, before punching Mr Goyal in the face.
The punch left Mr Goyal with multiple fractures to his jaw and a deformed tooth.
After surgery on his jaw Mr Goyal spent four days in hospital and had to have his jaw wired shut for 10 days.
Carroll’s defence lawyer, Mike Wardell, argued the attack was not motivated by “race hate” and that his client had never held racist views.
Mr Wardell provided the court with a number of references, including one from an Indian petrol station attendant whom Carroll interacts with regularly.
Mr Lethbridge took more than two hours to consider a sentence and said ultimately it was not in Carroll’s best interests to serve an immediate term of imprisonment.