Billington man fined over racially aggravated attack on traffic warden in Leighton Buzzard

A man has been fined over £700 after he was convicted of a racially-aggravated attack on a traffic warden in Leighton Buzzard.

John Fitzgerald, 22, of Greenacres, Slapton Road, Little Billington, appeared at Luton Magistrates Court on Thursday where he pleaded not guilty to attacking the warden in North Street on August 9, 2017.

L13-837 Leighton Buzzard scene setters in town, 'Amanda Devlin'JR 29'10.7.13'Sign ENGPNL00120131207131811

L13-837 Leighton Buzzard scene setters in town, 'Amanda Devlin'JR 29'10.7.13'Sign ENGPNL00120131207131811

But after hearing the evidence, magistrates found labourer Fitzgerald guilty of the offence and he was fined a total of £770.

Fitzgerald was parked on double yellow lines in North Street on the day of the incident and had noticed the traffic warden taking details of his car before going outside of a shop to confront him.

The victim said that the word “c**t” was shouted at him in the Urdu language.

He said: “I don’t know how he learnt it... I tried to explain to him why I was taking details and that it didn’t mean I was going to issue a ticket.

“He still had time to move his car in one of the 30-minute free bays.

“When I realised that he was aggressive, I tried to diffuse the situation and walked away. He moved his car to a free bay and then he followed me.”

The victim said Fitzgerald swore at him, threatened to stab him, and made several racist remarks including “you’re not from here, go back to your own country” and “you don’t know me, this is my area, this is my place”.

He also said Fitzgerald spat three times towards him although he managed to dodge the spittle, and that he raised his Rolex watch towards the victim’s face.

Bystanders came out from nearby shops and an eyewitness told the court he saw the victim against the wall with Fitzgerald shouting at him, and that he heard the words “f*** you, yellow b*****d”.

The victim said the incident had “pushed him” to leave his job.

In his defence, Fitzgerald denied using any racist terms but accepted that he had been swearing.

He claimed that the victim was still writing notes after he moved his car and that was when an argument took place.

He said: “There was no contact between him and me at all... I’ve never threatened anybody in my life.

“It would be impossible to miss him if I had attempted to spit at him.”