News & Star (Carlisle, UK), April 5, 2006
A man who shouted racist insults at Muslim worshippers outside Carlisle’s Brook Street mosque has been jailed for six months.
The city’s Crown Court heard that 49-year-old Bryan Cork shouted such things as “Carlisle’s white”, “Proud to be British” and “Go back to where you came from” as people were arriving for a Ramadan prayer meeting on November 30 last year.
When he was arrested he told the police: “I am British. I can’t deny it. I’m racist.”
Cork, of Thompson Street, Carlisle, pleaded guilty to a charge of racially aggravated harassment.
The court heard that Cork, who had never been in trouble before, was drunk at the time and could remember nothing of what he had done.
His barrister Malcolm Dutchman-Smith said Cork had been under stress at the time because of the breakdown of a 20-year relationship.
He said he could not understand what he had done because he was “friendly with people from all sorts of ethnic backgrounds”.
He said he now realised that his drink problem needed to be addressed.
Judge Paul Batty QC said it was clear that people arriving at the mosque had reacted with “horror and disgust”.
He told Cork: “Racism in this city simply will not be tolerated in any form. It will not be tolerated anywhere in this country if at all possible.”
The judge said he accepted that when sober Cork was a good man with much to offer the community.
But he added: “The aspect of racism which is clearly demonstrated here outweighs any personal mitigation which you have.”
Cork will serve half the six-month sentence before being released on licence.