An Angus man who subjected police, Ninewells Hospital staff and members of the public to a barrage of racial, religious and homophobic slurs has been jailed for 17 months.
Nicholas Powers Johnstone repeatedly kicked and punched a man on a Forfar street and subjected arresting police officers to a “sustained” tirade of abuse earlier this month.
Forfar Sheriff Court heard Johnstone later caused chaos in Ninewells Hospital, Arbroath Infirmary, and custody suites in Dundee and Arbroath.
Depute fiscal Bill Kermode said that two officers received most of the racial and religious abuse on October 1 PC George McSporran who was described as being of a Scots-Asian background, and PC Paul Hosking who is from Northern Ireland.
Following the 12.45am assault on Forfar’s East High Street, which left Johnstone’s legs and hands covered in blood and the man injured, the officers arrested him and took him to Arbroath Police Station.
At 1.40am he began to vomit and was taken to the minor injuries unit in town, but could not be assessed due to his conduct.
Among a large number of slurs, he told PC McSporran “I’m going to get you” and told PC Hosking “get on the boat and go home”.
He was taken to Ninewells in a police van, where he shouted “various profanities” at staff and the public to their fear and alarm, and continued to make racist remarks to PC McSporran.
Staff treated him and pronounced him fit for custody, where he was taken to cells at Dundee Police Station on Bell Street, made homophobic remarks to PC McSporran, and spat in his face.
Defending Johnson, of Perth Prison, solicitor Billy Rennie said “little could be said” in his client’s favour.
Previous convictions were admitted.
“He doesn’t recall the incident,” he said. “The (assault) came about due to bad feelings that existed between them and beyond that, a huge amount of drink and drugs followed.
“He is the first to recognise there is no alternative to imprisonment.”
Describing the abuse and breaches of the peace as a “sustained course of conduct aggravated by religious and racial prejudice,” Sheriff Pino Di Emidio sentenced Johnson to a total of 17 months in custody, backdated to October 2.