Violent thug used racist language in lighter row

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A South Yorkshire thug who racially abused a man and headbutted him in a row over a cigarette lighter has been spared jail.

Jason Bedford was staying in homeless shelter Holden House, Race Street, Barnsley, when he borrowed a lighter from a fellow resident.

When the man, a Sudanese asylum-seeker, asked for it back, Bedford, of Belmont Avenue, Barnsley, called him a racist name before butting him twice.

Brian Outhwaite, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court, said: “The complainant was then pushed against a door, they fell onto a stairway and down the stairs. He remembers Bedford saying ‘I want to go to jail for killing you.’”

Bedford admitted racially aggravated common assault after the incident on December 4 last year.

Richard Barradell, mitigating, said: “Bedford is mature enough to realise he has anger management issues. He is fed up with his life – he doesn’t want to be a violent man.”

Handing him a three-year community order, Mr Recorder Steven Coupland said: “Not only did you launch an attack on him because you were in a bad mood, you peppered what you were doing with offensive, racist names.”

Bedford, aged 29, was also ordered to pay a £60 surcharge.