Hartlepool women subjected doorman to vile racist abuse

Illusions in Sunderland, where the incident took place.
Illusions in Sunderland, where the incident took place.

Two drunk women shouted vile racist abuse at a nightclub doorman in a sickening tirade that lasted 20 minutes.

Hartlepool women Kimberley McLeod and Jodie Connolly asked the victim, who is of Iranian descent, if he had a bomb and told him he should work in a curry house, while screaming abuse too shocking to print in a family newspaper.

Prosecutor Paul Doney told magistrates how the pair had been out drinking in Illusions nightclub, in Sunderland city centre, in the early hours of March 1.

“The injured party is a doorman,” Mr Doney said at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court. “He is of Iranian background and has a Persian accent. He was informed that the defendants had been ejected from the premises.”

McLeod, 27, and Connolly, 19, were then standing outside smoking, the court heard. The victim asked them to move away from the entrance as they were blowing smoke into the entrance.

Connolly then swore and shouted racist abuse, demanding to know who he was.

She also said: “You come into my country and think you can tell me what to do. You stink, do you have a bomb?”

McLeod then continued with the racist abuse and swearing, before telling him: “You shouldn’t work in a pub, you should work in a curry place.”

“He felt he was being targeted because of his ethnic appearance and accent,” Mr Doney said. He went inside to avoid the defendants, but they continued to shout abuse. It went on for about 20 minutes.”

The incident came to an end when a member of staff flagged down a passing police car and McLeod and Connolly were arrested.

A victim personal statement, read out in court, said: “This incident has made me feel extremely upset.

“I’ve been in this country a long time now. Although I was not born here, I am a British citizen. I put up with people shouting at me because of my job, but I don’t expect to be targeted for my appearance or accent.”

McLeod, of Innes Road, Hartlepool, and Connolly, of Greenock Road, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to causing racially aggravated harassment alarm or distress.

John Relton, defending, said McLeod and Connolly are ashamed of their behaviour. They can only apologise, through me, for their totally unacceptable behaviour,” he said.

“This was a family incident that spilled out onto the street.

District Judge Paul Carr said: “Since you are able to afford the funds to go out drinking, while being dependant on the funds of the state, it will be a financial penalty.”

They were each fined £120, with £85 costs and £15 victim surcharge.