A BINGE-drinking' bricklayer made a 'vile racial slur' against a taxi driver before damaging his cab and spitting at an officer, claiming he had Covid-19.

Martin Davis walked free from Worcester Magistrates Court on Thursday after making racist and homophobic comments, smashing up a taxi and spitting on a police officer while already on a suspended sentence.

The 50-year-old of Washington Street, Arboretum, Worcester pleaded guilty to racially or religiously aggravated intentional harassment against Qazar Hussain on December 16 last year.

The chairman of the bench described the offensive comments to the taxi driver as 'a vile racial slur'.

Davis, accompanied by his wife who asked the case not be reported in the Worcester News on grounds of 'mental health', also admitted criminal damage to the taxi partition totalling £1,242 and assault by beating against an emergency worker, PC Handley, by spitting on him.

Sumreen Afsar, prosecuting, had viewed body worn footage of the incident. "When he does spit at the officer there's a suggestion he has got Covid and the officer says 'charming - so you spat at me and now you're telling me you've got Covid."

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Mrs Afsar said a spit hood was placed on the defendant after the attack.

A probation officer, who interviewed Davis before he was sentenced. The defendant accepted he had been 'racially abusive with the taxi driver' and had been 'homophobic towards a police constable'.

Worcester News:

FREE: Martin Davis walks out of Worcester Magistrates Court


Davis works as a self-employed bricklayer and told the probation officer he was 'something of a binge drinker'. "He normally keeps this under control but he admits on this occasion it got completely out of hand and expresses remorse and shame for the way he behaved" said the officer.

Nick Roberts, defending, said Davis's last conviction was in 2013 with most of his offending in the 1990s. "Most if it, if not all of it, is linked to misuse of alcohol. He hasn't been to prison since 2010 and, in many respects, had rehabilitated himself and has settled down" said Mr Roberts.


Worcester News:

GUILTY: Martin Davis was given a suspended prison sentence


The solicitor added: "He's faced up to the fact that the court could easily send him to prison. He thinks his behaviour was appalling."

Mr Roberts said Davis had asked the officer if this was a 'Covid arrest' which led to the officer asking him if he had Covid.

Davis was then heard by the officer to say: "I had a sneeze before you beat me all over the floor, yes."

Mr Roberts told the bench Davis 'doesn't remember what happened and he was contrite in interview'.

Magistrates sentenced Davis to 24 months in prison suspended for 12 months. As part of that order he must complete 100 hours of unpaid work and will be subject to an alcohol abstinence monitoring requirement which prohibits him from consuming any alcohol for 120 days. This is monitored by way of a tag, which he must not remove or tamper with, and measures any alcohol in his body.

He was told that tag would be fitted between 5pm midnight over the next two days. Compensation was also ordered - £1,242 to the taxi driver for the damage to the screen and £100 for the distress caused by the racial slur. Davis must also pay £100 to the officer he spat on. Further to this, Davis must pay £185 costs and a £128 victim surcharge. A fines collection order was also made, giving the court extra powers to recover the debt.