Racist jobseeker convicted after abusing job centre staff

Darlington and Stockton Times: Darlington Magistrates Court Darlington Magistrates Court

A RACIST jobseeker who lost his temper with job centre staff was convicted today (Thursday December 5).

Keith Christopher Cawkwell, 29, racially abused Lina Rajcoomar after being told he had not made enough effort to document his search for work, Darlington Magistrates Court heard today.

Cawkwell – of Park Lane, Darlington – became aggressive and had to be removed from Ms Rajcoomar’s vicinity by security guards at the town’s Bondgate Job Centre on Thursday October 17.

Blair Martin, prosecuting, said Cawkwell threatened to attack Ms Rajcoomar before security guards intervened.

As he was taken to a separate room by the guards, he said “It’s no wonder I am a racist” before adding derogatory insults referring to Ms Rajcoomar’s ethnicity.

In a statement, Ms Rajcoomar said: “I tried to shrug it off but the next day, the abuse really hit me and I felt low.

“I cannot believe this is how some people still think and how awful their attitude is.”

Carl Swift, mitigating, said the racist insults were not said within earshot of Ms Rajcoomar and said Cawkwell – whose temper was known to staff in the job centre - had not gone to the job centre with the intention of abusing anybody.

He said: “The meeting was workman like initially but when he did not get his own way, he spat his dummy out and used language that was completely unacceptable.”

Cawkwell was handed a 12-month community order and made to do 140 hours of unpaid work.

He also has to pay £50 compensation, £85 costs and a victim surcharge of £60.


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