Harrogate takeaway staff hit racial slur customer with pole

The incident took place outside Bambinos takeaway, on King's Road, Harrogate
The incident took place outside Bambinos takeaway, on King's Road, Harrogate

Two takeaway workers have been given suspended prison sentences for attacking a drunken customer with a metal pole.

Zeynel Kala, 41, and Taj Uzbek, 40, went outside Bambinos kebab shop in Harrogate to confront the man after he had taunted and aimed at racial slurs at them.

The man received several blows after being knocked to the ground and suffered cuts to his nose and the back of his head.

York Crown Court heard that before the attack, the victim had been causing bother inside the takeaway on King’s Road and got into a drunken argument with some other customers.

Prosecutor Michael Bosomworth said that during the ensuing chaos, the man threw a punch at Kala as the takeaway worker walked past him.

The victim is said to have asked Kala and Uzbek outside for a fight and waited for them in the street, shouting threats.

Kala and Uzbek armed themselves with a weapon, described as a metal or aluminium pole, and went looking for him. They gave the man a beating but a night marshal turned up to break up the fight.

Uzbek, of King’s Road, and Kala, of Haxby Road, York, were arrested and charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, unlawful wounding and possessing an offensive weapon.

They appeared in court on Monday when they denied wounding with intent, but pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and possessing a weapon. The Crown prosecutor said those pleas were acceptable and the two men were found not guilty of wounding with intent.

Mr Bosomworth said Kala had previous convictions for affray and battery, and had received two penalty notices for criminal damage. Uzbek had a clean record.

He added that the victim, who was named in court, had provoked the pair and had not co-operated with police or the Crown Prosecution Service regarding the incident, which happened at about 4am on April 26.

Keith Allen, for Kala, said his client, a married father, had lost his job at the takeaway as a result of the incident.

He said the victim had been swearing at Kala and calling him racist names. He then punched the takeaway worker in the face and went outside waiting for a fight.

Barrister George Hazel-Owram, for Uzbek, said his client was a hard-working man who hadn’t been in the country long and sent money back to his wife in his native Afghanistan. Uzbeck had kept his job in the takeaway.

Judge Paul Batty QC said although the defendants’ actions were inexcusable, it was clear they had been seriously provoked by the victim.

He added: “Those who are engaged in the business of serving food in late-night outlets are (often) faced with violent drunks, as this complainant undoubtedly was.

“He behaved quite disgracefully and on this particular night you were just dong your job when trouble came to you.”

Mr Batty said that because of this, and the fact that the victim did not suffer serious injury, he could suspend the inevitable prison sentence in each of their cases. He also decided not to award the victim any compensation because of his loutish behaviour.

Kala was given a 16-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, and 120 hours’ unpaid work. Uzbek was given an eight-month jail term, also suspended for two years. He was ordered to carry out 80 hours’ unpaid work.