Page last updated at 16:16 GMT, Wednesday, 22 October 2008 17:16 UK

Soldier fined for turban scuffle

Edinburgh Sheriff Court
The fine was passed down at Edinburgh Sheriff Court

A soldier who pulled off a man's turban during an Edinburgh nightclub scuffle because he "didn't like" people with turbans has been fined 280.

Raty Yavala, 29, had just returned from fighting in Iraq with the First Scots Regiment when he went out in Edinburgh.

Yavala, from Fiji, was in the All Purple Bar in Hanover Street when he began arguing with another clubber.

Yavala pleaded guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to a breach of the peace at the club on 30 September 2007.

Yavala, who is based at Dreghorn Barracks near Edinburgh, shouted and swore at the Sikh man before pulling off his turban and calling him a racist name.

Fine reduced

He later told police he had attacked the man, whose identity is unknown, because "anyone with a turban on I don't like".

The court was told the victim had been "embarrassed" by the incident and had left the club shortly afterwards.

Solicitor John Good, defending, said Yavala had been described by his Army superiors as an "exemplary soldier" who had an unblemished record during his eight-year military career, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He had gone out shortly after returning from six-month insurgency duties in Iraq and had been at a rugby match before heading to the club.

He was drunk at the time of the assault, the solicitor added.

Sheriff Elizabeth Jarvie said she was reducing the fine from 350 because Yavala had admitted the offence.


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