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Sunday, 9 January 2011

Road rage racist gets five months (UK)

A road rage driver who punched a motorist through the open window of his car on a South Tyneside road after hurling racist abuse has been jailed.
Robert Crane pulled up his car behind Emrah Cifti's motor at traffic lights on John Reid Road, South Shields, got out and launched the terrifying attack.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Mr Cifti, a British national who is of Turkish origin, suffered a "glancing blow" to his face, but was not seriously injured.

Crane, who had used racist abuse towards to Cifti, drove away from the scene but was followed by another motorist, who passed on his registration number to the police.

Crane was tracked down and arrested within days.

During police interview, Crane admitted he had become angry and said it was because of Mr Cifti's bad driving.

Judge Roger Thorn jailed Crane for five months.

The judge said: "You left your vehicle and used words of racial hostility then decided you would become judge, jury and sentencer.

"These incidents of road rage are something that happen almost daily and have a terrifying impact on upon victims. Sentences will be passed that mark the courts' severe disapproval of this kind of behaviour."

Crane, of Split Crow Road, Gateshead, had pleaded guilty to racially aggravated common assault.

Ron Mitchell said the dad-of-two is a family man, who works as a panel beater, who had succumbed to a loss of temper. Mr Mitchell added: "It was a moment of complete stupidity."

Shields Gazette