A young man who shouted at a pregnant takeaway worker to “p*** off” back to her “own country” was today warned his drunkenness was no excuse for his actions.
Darren Laurenson, 21, of Hoofields in Lerwick told the woman to “f*** off” when he saw her loading Thai food from a newly opened Market Cross eatery into her car for delivery.
The woman, who had two children with her, was left “extremely distressed and fearful” by the incident.
At Lerwick Sheriff Court Laurenson admitted acting in a racially aggravated manner, gesticulating, shouting and swearing at the woman on 23rd August.
Laurenson was apprehended by the police very quickly after the incident.
Asked if he had been drinking, his response was: “I think so. I’d had a few but I was definitely not drunk.” He also said he had been having a bad day.
Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said: “It may be more of a concern if he wasn’t drunk that he decided to abuse the woman in this way.”
Defence agent Tommy Allan said Laurenson was aware his antics were disrespectful and wanted to say he was sorry to the complainer.
“Although he has no recollection of the comment about her going back to her own country he has to accept that is what he said.”
He added unemployed Laurenson expected to find work at Sullom Voe within the next three weeks.
Sheriff Graeme Napier deferred sentence until 5th October for reports. He said it was clear alcohol was a trend in Laurenson’s behaviour.
“Alcohol, no matter how much, does not turn somebody who does not have racist thoughts into somebody who does express racist views. It doesn’t suddenly make you a racist. It’s not an excuse.”