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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 March 2008, 15:19 GMT
Fine for racist Iraq war veteran
Falkirk Sheriff Court
The court heard that McFarlane was a first offender
An Iraq war veteran, due to fight in Afghanistan, has been fined for shouting racist abuse.

Thomas McFarlane, 20, from Grangemouth, boasted that he was "going to kill Pakis" just weeks before his next tour of duty.

The outburst came as he was apprehended by police at Falkirk's Central Retail Park on 23 February.

Fining McFarlane 450, Sheriff William Gallacher said he had brought disgrace upon himself and the community.

Falkirk Sheriff Court was told that McFarlane had received a commendation during his time in Iraq as a soldier with the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

There must be anxiety that someone in his position expresses these views
Sheriff William Gallacher

Defence agent, John Mulholland said: "For some considerable time he was exposed to a hostile and dangerous environment.

"He is due to serve in Afghanistan for seven months starting in April and he can expect to be exposed to another hostile environment."

Sentencing, Sheriff Gallacher said: "There must be anxiety that someone in his position expresses these views.

"This offence was committed in Falkirk and outside the confines of the Army, but it is still very serious."

Addressing McFarlane, he said: "The way that you behaved has no place in our community. It brought great disgrace on you and the community."

Platoon commander

The prosecution accepted McFarlane's not guilty pleas to breaking into McDonalds restaurant in the retail park on the same day and stealing four jackets.

A not guilty plea was also accepted for causing a breach of the peace at the shopping complex by shouting and swearing.

The court was told that McFarlane, who was a first offender, was unlikely to be thrown out of the Army.

A senior officer said his "service was not an issue" but said he would be the subject of internal discipline by his platoon commander.

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