Thomas Glassey – Belfast
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Belfast man who hurled racist abuse and punched eight-year-old child jailed for four months
A Belfast man who punched an eight-year-old foreign national boy after shouting racial abuse at the child and his mother has been jailed for four months.
Thomas Glassey (36) also exposed his buttocks to motorists and passers-by during the episode described by a judge as “appalling and shocking”.
Glassey, of Morpeth Street, launched his assault on the city’s Shankill Road on July 16 last year.
Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard he was first seen in the area dropping his trousers repeatedly in view of other members of the public.
He then turned on the passing mother and child, shouting at them: “N*****, n*****, this is my country.”
A prosecution lawyer said Glassey repeated the abuse as he came closer to the victims, putting them in fear.
As the woman tried to push him away he moved behind her and punched her son on the back of the head.
Others in the area came to their aid before Glassey was arrested.
During interviews he claimed to have consumed three large bottles of vodka and prescription medication in the days leading up to the incident.
He stated that he had no memory of events but denied being a racist.
Defence solicitor Stewart Evans told the court Glassey had immediately pleaded guilty to the indecent behaviour and two counts of common assault.
“There’s been no attempt to minimise his wrongdoing and he offers his apologies to the victims,” Mr Evans said.
Describing Glassey as “entirely ashamed”, the lawyer claimed his actions were totally out of character and fuelled by alcohol.
He also argued that his client could not have been motivated by racial intent, citing an IQ assessment which put him in the bottom 0.4 per cent of the population.
The court heard Glassey is socially isolated and unsuitable for custody.
But Deputy District Judge Austin Kennedy told him: “First of all you engaged in indecent behaviour, then you accosted the injured parties because of their race and background.
“You approached them and end up assaulting a young boy who is eight, and racially abuse him as well.
“This behaviour is simply appalling and shocking, and must be stamped out by the courts.”
Imposing three months imprisonment, Mr Kennedy ordered Glassey to serve a further month behind bars by activating a previously suspended sentence for disorderly behaviour.
The judge added: “You haven’t learned your lesson and until you do you will spend longer and longer in prison.”