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Man who punched boy and called him a black c*** walks free

BOLTON CROWN COURT: Dale Hart was given a 12-month suspended sentence for racially aggravated assault and affray

A MAN who punched a 15-year-old boy and called him a “black c***” has walked free from court after a judge deemed the racially aggravated assault as occurring in the heat of the moment.

Dale Hart wrongly believed that the boy had knocked his baby son’s pram as he ran to catch as bus.

At one point during the assault, Hart told the boy to “speak English”.

The teenager’s mother, who had been taking the boy and his two sisters, aged 14 and 13, to church, attempted to intervene and stop the attack. She was pushed back by Hart and later collapsed on the bus. She was taken to hospital with a life-threatening bleed to the brain, the Manchester Evening News reported.

Hart described the boy’s mother as “collateral damage”.

In a statement he said: “I initiated a confrontation with the boy having mistakenly thought that he had run and bashed into my son’s pram.

"Words were exchanged solely on that aspect - not because of the colour of his skin - and I said to him something along to lines of ‘watch where you are going.’ An unsightly scuffle ensued and I accept that during it I punched him. I do not accept I intended to strike his mother at any point.

"However, I cannot rule out the possibility she might have received a blow to her head in the scuffle, be that through contact with me, or her son. Towards the end of the scuffle, I wanted to retrieve my hat, which had fallen to the ground.

"I endeavoured to get it, but I was being held back by the mother who I suspect thought that I may have been trying to get her son.

“It was during this time that I said ‘get off me you black c**t’. Although it was an awful thing to say, it was not meant to be aggressive. It was a spur of the moment in order for them to let me go.”

Hart, who has previous convictions for affray and being drunk and disorderly, was given a 12-month suspended sentence and ordered to do 180 hours of community service at Bolton Crown Court. He pleaded not guilty to inflicting racially aggravated grievous bodily harm.

“He realises that it was his fault and that it was a misunderstanding. It was an event which was out of character,” the Manchester Evening News reported his lawyer Rosalind Scott-Bell said.

Judge Martin Walsh told Hart that “violence or disorder which is initiated and motivated by racial hostility will not be tolerated”.

''Had I been required to sentence you on the basis that the initial attack was initiated because of racial hostility towards him or to his family then an immediate sentence of imprisonment would have been imposed,” the Manchester Evening News reported Walsh said.

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