Man admits racially aggravated assault on Pontymister shopkeeper

5:59pm Sunday 15th June 2014

A RISCA man has admitted racially assaulting the owner of the local shop he has been going to for the last 15 years.

Mark Williams, 45, of Meadow Crescent, Pontymister, pleaded guilty to six charges against him at Newport Magistrates Court.

All charges related to an incident which occurred earlier this week, on June 11. Williams admitted to causing criminal damage, two assaults by beating, having an offensive weapon, affray and racially aggravated assault.

The court heard how Williams had gone to his local Londis on Wednesday afternoon, where he cornered the shopkeeper in the storeroom. Williams shouted racial abuse and pushed and shoved the shopkeeper.

Ruth Hale, for the prosecution, said Williams had shouted: “I’ve been in the army, you shouldn’t be in this country.”

Williams then left the store before returning with a large wooden handle, akin to a pick axe handle, and started hitting the shop window causing an estimated £3,500 of damage.

Shortly before police arrived at the scene, Williams said he would be back to burn the shop down.

Two others, who were in the store, tried to calm the situation but were also assaulted by Williams.

In police interviews Williams had been unable to recall what had happened, as he had consumed a litre of white cider and depression tablets.

In mitigation, the court heard how Williams was “mortified” by what he had done, especially as he had been using the shop regularly for the last 15 years.

The case was committed to Newport Crown Court, where Williams will be sentenced on July 4. He was remanded in custody.

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