A BALLARAT magistrate has hit out at a business owner over a "vitriolic and racist tirade" he made towards an Indian employee.
Keith Robbins, the owner and manager of Robbins Bakery, sent seven text messages to the employee shortly after Christmas last year, including "Do you ever wash?", "go back to India" and "I'll dob you into immigration".
Robbins, 51, appeared at the Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday, where he pleaded guilty to a single charge of using a carriage service to offend.
Ms Hodgson condemned Robbins' behaviour, saying he should understand the level of professionalism required between employer and employee.
"This was nothing less than a vitriolic and racist tirade over the course of two or three days," she said.
"This type of behaviour will not be tolerated."
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Michelle Kilburn said Robbins sent the text messages to the employee of his Stocklands Wendouree bakery over a number of days, beginning on December 26 last year.
She said the employee later told Robbins that they had to go back to India to visit their sick father.
Robbins became angry and said, "You Indians always do this", before the employee resigned.
Outside the court, Robbins told The Courier that nothing like this had ever happened to him before.
"I'm not one bit racist. I've got a Sri Lankan working here and a disabled person," he said.
"I give people every opportunity, but that probably wasn't the correct way of dealing with it."
Robbins said the texting started after the employee had failed to give three months notice before leaving, an agreement he said had been made verbally.
"I feel really strongly about this. Small business gets very little protection," he said.
"What I said, it wasn't the right way of dealing with it, but I'm not racist. It's about the principle of the matter."
In court, defence lawyer David Tamanika said his client was a hard worker, did not have a criminal history and was ashamed of his behaviour.
He said Robbins has no prejudice towards Indian people, but that a "build-up of tension" caused his "brain snap".
"They simply didn't get on," he said.
"He's not proud of the way he's handled himself and it's not a reflection of the way he's lived his life."
Robbins was fined $1000 with conviction