South Yorkshire man punched asylum seeker in unprovoked racist attack

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A South Yorkshire man who punched an asylum seeker in an unprovoked attack has been jailed.

Steven Watson appeared before Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday, February 16, after admitting the offence, which took place in May of last year.

The court heard that the victim, who is a native of Somalia, had been walking through Barnsley town centre when he saw the 40-year-old and another man standing in the street.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Prosecuting, Stephen Littlewood told the court: “The victim was walking in Barnsley town centre and he reached Eldon Street when he saw two men. One of them was the defendant, who walked up to him and punched him in the face, breaking his glasses.

Steven Watson appeared before Sheffield Crown CourtSteven Watson appeared before Sheffield Crown Court
Steven Watson appeared before Sheffield Crown Court
Read More
Man linked to over £1m worth of cannabis plants in Sheffield and Doncaster jaile...

“He used his bike lock to try to defend himself and one of the members of the public who tried to intervene was black, and they were both referred to as n******.”

The court heard that the defendant had previous convictions for violence and affray and was on bail for another matter when he carried out the attack.

Defending, Vanessa Saxton, said that Watson - who is himself mixed race - of Farm Road, Barnsley, has a significant drink problem and couldn't remember committing the offence when he was later arrested.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She said: “He’s thoroughly ashamed of himself for using racially-motivated language. He is adamant that he doesn’t hold those views and doesn’t see himself as a racist, but he accepts that this offence is racially aggravated.”

Sentencing Watson to four months in prison, Recorder Kirtley told him: “You have described yourself as mixed race, and it beggars understanding why you did what you did.”

Editor’s message: In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.