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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Racist Carlisle thug who beat up train conductor jailed

A racist thug who beat up a railway conductor was on his way home to Carlisle after an all-night rave, a court heard.

Now 23-year-old Reece Bellas is starting a 16-month prison sentence – a term a judge at the city’s Crown Court admitted was “quite inadequate”.

Judge Paul Batty QC said Bellas’s attack on the Asian ticket inspector was “just about as bad a case of its type as one can imagine”.

But the maximum sentence permitted under the law for such an offence was one of just two years, and even then Court of Appeal guidelines stipulated that perpetrators should win a 25 per cent reduction for pleading guilty.

“I view this as being a quite inadequate sentence, but it is the one I am obliged to pass,” Judge Batty said.

The court heard the trouble flared on an early morning London-Glasgow Virgin train, when the inspector found Bellas, of Borland Avenue, Botcherby, had no ticket.

At first Bellas he claimed to have lost it, then, when the inspector told him he would have to buy another, he locked himself in a lavatory saying he was ill.

Prosecuting counsel Keith Sutton told the court that when the inspector told him to get off the train when it stopped at Oxenholme station Bellas became aggressive and abusive, shouting racist insults.

Once on the platform, he said, Bellas turned and knocked the inspector down with punches and a headbutt before carrying on the attack by punching and kicking him as he lay on the ground.

The inspector suffered cuts and grazes and was too badly hurt to finish his shift.

The train had to be taken out of service because it was deemed to be a crime scene, Mr Sutton added.

Bellas managed to get away from the station, but he was arrested when he returned – still with blood on his hands – to catch another train an hourlater.

Bellas, who had 46 previous convictions including one for beating up a takeaway worker for beingPolish, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault.

Passing sentence, Judge Batty told Bellas: “You were no doubt under the influence of alcohol and whatever else you took at the rave. It was an appalling offence.”

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