When Owen Haughian racially abused a barmaid on Monday he ended up in custody for his antics.
Appearing at Lerwick Sheriff Court today he admitted calling the woman a “f****** Paki”, even though she was not of ethnic minority.
Haughian, whose address was given as Runnadale, Ollaberry, was on bail at the time of the offence and originally due to appear for sentence after admitting similar offences last month.
In July he drunkenly branded a chip shop proprietor a “Paki”. At the time he was arrested but feigned unconsciousness. When an ambulance came he also called the driver a “Paki” – even though he was not of Pakistani origin.
Today’s court heard alcohol was “a common denominator” in Haughian’s offending. Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Haughian had been drinking in the Lerwick Legion but was reluctant to leave at closing time. The member of staff was “shepherding him out of the premises” when he used the term.
Mr MacKenzie said: “The complainer is white and British. There is nothing obvious about her appearance which would, as far as I’m aware, suggest she has ethnicity from the Indian sub-continent.”
He suggested Haughian’s drinking may reveal “unpleasant prejudices” that even Haughian himself did not want to admit to.
“This offence was committed whilst he was on bail and subject to a deferral of sentence for the same behaviour,” Mr MacKenzie said. “Its stupidity almost defies belief.”
Defence agent Tommy Allan offered two references for Haughian – one of which was from his employer which showed he was well regarded in the work place.
He added that Haughian had described himself as “extremely low and depressed” and had struggled to cope since the death of his mother. Mr Allan said it appeared Haughian was discharged from the navy on mental health grounds.
Sheriff Philip Mann deferred sentence for a psychiatric report. He released Haughian on bail, but ordered him to abide by a night-time curfew seven days a week.
Haughian was also told not to buy drink or enter any licensed premises other than shops. He was ordered not to be under the influence in public and to provide a breath sample to police as and when required.
Sheriff Mann warned Haughian: “These are very restrictive conditions and I do have slight concern that I am maybe setting you up to fail, but I am hoping you will take heed of these bail conditions. If you don’t, and if you breach these conditions, the chances are you will just be remanded in custody.”
Haughian will appear again on 3rd October.