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Man jailed for racially abusing two strangers and attacking them with a weapon after a row over parking
06 Feb | 09:13

A violent thug who racially abused two strangers and attacked them with a weapon after a row over parking has been jailed.

Leandro Serrano and his step-father Valter Joao had been in a dispute with Newcastle City Council after demanding a disabled parking bay outside their home.

The space outside their address on Westmorland Road in the west end of Newcastle had no restrictions in place when an Asian woman they did not know parked their last April.

She had stopped there to pick up a friend but was met with a tirade of racial abuse from Serrano, 21, as he told her she couldn't park in the space.

The victim left the area with her friend but the pair returned a short time later, this time parking further down the street away from the address.

However, Serrano then began to throw energy drinks at the car while branding the pair “immigrants”, despite the woman having been born and raised in the UK.

Joao, 44, then approached the vehicle and motioned for the woman to leave, ripped off his shirt and then slapped her across the face.

Newcastle Crown Court was told how the man then got out the vehicle at which point Joao began to kick and punch him in the middle of the street.

Serrano then re-appeared brandishing a weapon that he used to strike the forehead of his 30-year-old victim, temporarily knocking him unconscious.

The woman then helped her friend to his feet and they locked themselves in her car while they waited for police to arrive.

Both Serrano and Joao, who lived at the address on Westmoreland Road were arrested and later charged in connection with the racially aggravated attack on April 28 this year.

Serrano, who told the court he had been victim of racial abuse in the past, admitted a racially-aggravated section 20 assault, possession of an offensive weapon and a public order offence. Joao pleaded guilty to an affray.

And at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday) Serrano was jailed for three years and three months and his step-father was handed a 15 month prison sentence suspended for two years.

Following the case, investigating officer Detective Constable Steve Patterson praised the bravery of the victims during what was a "violent and despicable assault".

He said: "I can't even begin to imagine how terrifying it must have been for the victims in this case when they were being attacked by these two men.

"The male victim was surrounded by a crowd of people as he was violently kicked, punched and slashed in the middle of the street.

"They were also pelted with vile racial abuse that has no place in our society and that was treated as an aggravating factor in this case.

"There is no excuse for this type of behaviour and the fact that this argument started over a parking space shows just how dangerous Serrano and Joao are.

"The victims in this case have been very brave throughout the incident itself, and the subsequent criminal investigation, and I want to commend them for the dignity they have shown."


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