Page last updated at 15:12 GMT, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 16:12 UK

Prison for racist Polish attack

Edinburgh Sheriff Court
Sentence was passed at Edinburgh Sheriff Court

A man who made an unprovoked racist attack on a Polish waiter in Edinburgh, and was found to be in possession of a knife, has been jailed for 19 months.

Graham Hislen, 29, pleaded guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to the racially aggravated assault on Prezemyslaw Chudy, 27, in Lothian Road on 7 March.

He also admitted being in possession of a lock knife.

Mr Chudy, who worked as a waiter in the Bar Italia in Lothian Road, was on his way home after work at 0030 BST.

Hislen and another man were walking in the opposite direction when Hislen approached Mr Chudy and began punching him repeatedly on the head while shouting racist abuse.

He then grabbed Mr Chudy's arms and restrained him, but his victim managed to break free and ran back to the Bar Italia and called the police.

Hislen was arrested nearby and was found to have the knife when taken to St Leonard's Police Station.

'Verbal altercation'

Defence agent Cameron Tait said his client was currently serving a sentence and was due for release in six weeks.

On the night in question, said Mr Tait, Hislen had been out with a friend and had been drinking excessively.

He could only remember his friend becoming involved in "a verbal altercation" with someone else and he became involved.

The solicitor said Hislen understood his behaviour was completely unacceptable. The knife, he said, was small and carried on a key-ring.

Sheriff Kathrine Mackie, on looking at the weapon, commented it was not something one would normally expect to see on a key-ring and could cause serious injury.

She jailed Hislen for 14 months for his "wholly unprovoked attack" on Mr Chudy and a further five months for possession of the lock-knife, the sentences to run concurrently. It was, she pointed out, his third conviction for carrying a knife.

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