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Manchester couple sentenced after racist incident and assault at Chester hotel

|News, Hate crime

A man and wife have been sentenced after a hotel worker was racially abused and two police officers were assaulted in Chester.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that Brian and Sharon Cassidy, of  Thirlmere Rd in Manchester, were swearing loudly in the bar area of the Mercure Hotel in the city around 8.25pm on 14 March 2020.

A member of staff came over to ask them to tone down their behaviour as there were children present. Sharon Cassidy, 59, then racially abused the member of staff, asking him what country he was from and to get back there.

She also swore at him and was aggressive. The police were called and, as they tried to arrest her, she kicked out at them. A witness also saw her sneeze at the police officers, saying she had Coronavirus and hoped they caught it.

Her husband Brian Cassidy, 58, then also tried to stop them. He too was restrained by officers but he swung his arm back as they tried to take him out of the hotel, hitting one of them.

The couple were both taken into custody. The told police they had come to Chester to celebrate a friend's birthday. They admitted that their behaviour in the hotel had been loud and that they had been swearing. But they said this was normal with them and denied that families sitting nearby had been offended.

Sharon Cassidy was charged with racially aggravated provocation of violence with words and assaulting an emergency worker. Brian Cassidy was charged with assault by  beating of an emergency worker and using threatening behaviour to cause harassment or alarm.

At a hearing today (11 September 2020) at Chester Magistrates’ Court, the couple pleaded guilty to the charges. Brian Cassidy was given a eight-week curfew and must not leave his home between the hours of 7pm and 5am. He must pay £85 in costs, and £85 victim surcharge and £100 in compensation to the police officer he assaulted.

Sharon Cassidy has been given a 14-week curfew that states she must not leave her home between the hours of 7pm and 7am. The period of the curfew was increased from 12 weeks to 14 weeks, following an application from the Crown Prosecution Service, to take account of the racially aggravated element of her offending.

She must also pay £85 in costs, pay an £85 victim surcharge and £100 in compensation. The money must be paid by both defendants in full within 28 days.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Leanne Kennedy, of CPS Mersey Cheshire, said: “Brian and Sharon Cassidy behaved appallingly on that day.

“They were swearing loudly in front of families and, when asked to tone down their behaviour, Sharon shouted racist remarks at a member of staff, who was simply trying to do his job. Then she assaulted police.

“As she was arrested, her husband then took it upon himself to stop the police officers and he assaulted one of them too - again, in full view of other guests and hotel staff.

“Alcohol clearly had a part to play in their behaviour. They claimed to have been out for a birthday celebration with friends. Because of their actions, that day out ended up in arrests and upset and harm to others. Let this prosecution be a lesson to them.”

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