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Unpaid work for man who made racist comments at Inverness bus station newsagents

By Alan Shields

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Inverness Bus Station. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Inverness Bus Station. Picture: James Mackenzie.

A DRUNK man who hurled racial abuse at the staff of an Inverness newsagents has been spared jail.

Nathan Cowie (24) was heavily under the influence on the afternoon of January 3 when he went into Station News at the city’s bus station.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard he tried to buy a bottle of whisky but his bank card was declined.

He then attempted to intimidate the two shop workers, fiscal depute Emma MacEwan said.

The owner and another staff member then again refused his request due to him being clearly intoxicated.

Miss MacEwan said: “The accused then became upset.”

The court heard he swore at the staff and told them: “You’re not serving me because you’re a black person and I’m white.”

At this point he also knocked over a confectionary stand.

Defence agent David Patterson said his client had very little recollection of the incident and that he had a “complex background” which had led to alcohol abuse.

Sheriff Gary Aitken said: “This is no excuse for behaviour of this kind.”

The sheriff imposed a community payback order as a direct alternative to custody.

Cowie, of Westford, Alness, will be under the supervision of social workers for one year and must carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

He also has to comply with an alcohol and drug testing treatment order.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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