Pub yob guilty of racist remarks

A MAN is facing jail for racially absusing a Nigerian man in a Hartlepool pub.

Leslie Gibbon, 42, was found guilty of directing a stream of abuse at Jude Anyanwu while he tried to watch a football match on TV.

Gibbon called Mr Anyanwu an offensive name after repeatedly asking where he was from.

When the victim replied he was from Hartlepool, Gibbon said “no you’re not” and likened black people to slaves.

Cable puller Gibbon was warned he is facing a prison term after being convicted of racially aggravated fear or provocation of violence at Teesside Crown Court.

The jury took around an hour to return its unanimous guilty verdict after a two-day trial.

Speaking afterwards the victim said: “I am really happy to hear that he has been found guilty.

“What he said to me was absolutely unacceptable.”

Mr Anyanwu said he no longer feels comfortable in large gatherings and added: “The attack really took away my freedom.”

But he praised Hartlepool Police for their support throughout the case.

He urged other people from ethic minorities to report similar cases of abuse.

“People can have the confidence that they will bring the people involved to justice.”

Mr Anyanwu said the incident has not changed his positive opinion about Hartlepool.

He said: “I have never changed my positive attitude about the town.

“That was the only incident I’ve ever had.

“My opinion is so positive and I have a lot of good friends.”

Gibbon, formerly of Hartlepool, now of Thorndike Road, Middlesbrough, made the racist remarks while Mr Anyanwu tried to watch a Chelsea match in the town’s Park Inn pub on May 9 last year.

Sentencing was adjourned until next month for a probation report on Gibbon to be prepared and he was granted bail.

Judge Peter Bowers described Gibbon’s remarks as “a serious matter”.

He said: “I warn you, you are very likely to get a custodial sentence for this offence.

“I think in the end you will come back in four weeks time and get a prison sentence.”