Racist’s rant: I’ll burn down your business

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

A man racially abused a shopkeeper and threatened to burn down his business, a court heard.

John Hulse, 52, of St Paul’s Avenue, Goose Green, also assaulted Karsen Patel and his friend John Wilkinson, who had tried to help.

He admitted the offences when he appeared before Wigan And Leigh Magistrates’ Court this week.

Tess Kenyon, prosecuting, told magistrates: “The victim states he has been abused by the defendant, sometimes racially.”

She said Hulse used a racist term towards Mr Patel and threatened to burn down his shop. She added: “His friend came in to try to help and they have both been assaulted.”

Hulse pleaded guilty to four charges following the incident on Thursday, March 30.

The offences relating to Mr Patel were using racially-aggravated words or writing with intent to cause him distress, threatening to damage his shop by burning it down and racially-aggravated assault by beating him.

He also admitted assaulting Mr Wilkinson by beating him.

A fifth charge, of assaulting Mr Patel by beating him, was withdrawn by the Crown Prosecution Service, as it duplicated the charge for racially-aggravated assault.

Magistrates decided to adjourn the case so that reports could be prepared by the Probation Service and Hulse’s GP ahead of sentencing. Hulse was remanded on conditional bail and will appear before the same court on Thursday, May 18.

Bail conditions put in place include not contacting Mr Patel and Mr Wilkinson and not going to an address on St Paul’s Avenue in Goose Green.