Man from war-torn Libya hoped to find peace in UK - but was attacked by racist thug in Wakefield

A DRUNK racist thug who launched two unprovoked attacks on a man from war-torn Libya who had hoped to find “peace and security” in Wakefield has been jailed for two years.

Friday, 20th November 2015, 3:30 pm

Leeds Crown Court heard Daniel O’Hara twice racially abused and attacked the man, who needed hospital treatment.

The court heard O’Hara’s victim had only been in the UK for six days after being placed in Wakefield by the Home Office when the attack happened in the evening on July 1.

Proscecutor, Duncan Ritchie said the man had hoped to find “peace and security” in this country.

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Mr Ritchie said the man was with a group of friends walking along Westgate when O’Hara and three other men walked past them.

Mr Ritchie said O’Hara, 25, racially abused the man before punching him with an uppercut to his jaw.

O’Hara, of Sycamore Avenue, Peacock, Wakefield, walked away, but returned brandishing a bottle.

Mr Ritchie said: “He swung the bottle towards (the man) saying ‘come on, I will have you.’”

Police arrived and spoke to the attack victim as O’Hara left the scene.

But as the man who had been attacked was walking away, O’Hara ran across Westgate and repeatedly punched him to the head.

Police chased O’Hara and he was arrested.

The injured man was taken to hospital for treatment after suffering pain in his ribs and face.

Mr Ritchie said: “He was very afraid during the incident. He said he thought the defendant wanted to kill him.”

O’Hara admitted two charges of racially aggravated common assault.

Mitigating, Kara Firth said O’Hara, a father-of-one, was drunk after a family wedding where he had been celebrating news that his girlfriend was pregnant.

Miss Firth said: “He is disgusted, appalled and ashamed of how he acted on that evening. He cannot explain why he said the things he did. Those are not his views and never have been. He is genuinely sorry.”

Jailing O’Hara for two years, Recorder Michael Slater told him: “You say you are not racist, albeit you have pleaded to two racially aggravated assaults.”