A lout who threatened to murder shop staff and said black people shouldn’t be allowed in Scotland claimed he is “the opposite” of racist.
Ian Gray terrorised shop and bar staff in Aberdeen as he toured city centre premises making chilling threats.
The 42-year-old vowed to “slash” an employee in a bookies, promised to murder a Co-op worker’s family and said police officers should be “hung, drawn and quartered”.
The foul-mouthed menace also insisted black people and Asian people “shouldn’t be in this country”, before claiming in court he was the “opposite” of racist.
Fiscal depute Dylan Middleton told Aberdeen Sheriff Court the first incident occurred at the Co-op on Union Street around 6.35am on July 12.
Gray was found in the laundry detergent aisle with a bag full of detergents.
The complainer, a member of staff at the shop, suspected Gray was in the process of shoplifting and removed the bag from him and told him to leave.
‘I’m going to slash you‘
However, Gray refused and, while being escorted out, began to shout and swear at the man, branding him a “jobsworth” and a “c***”.
Gray also warned: “I’m going to find you and kill your family.”
He then swung a punch at the employee which missed, but followed up by spitting directly into his face.
Gray put his forehead against the man’s head and pushed him back while continuing to scream threats, saying he would come back and kill him.
Days later at 9pm on July 14, Gray was asked to leave Paddy Power on Union Street but refused.
When staff phoned the police, Gray stated: “I’m going to slash you.”
The employee managed to get Gray out of the shop and locked the door, but he outside repeatedly kicking the door.
Fortunately, no damage was caused and eventually he gave up and walked away.
Just 25 minutes later, Gray was seen “being a nuisance” in Archibald Simpsons.
Due to being barred, pub staff told him to leave but he refused.
Mr Middleton told the court: “The accused became aggressive and made threats towards her and her colleague, saying ‘I will murder you’ and that he was going to punch them both.”
He also made derogatory comments including “dirty bum slag”, “whores”, and “nothing but slags”.
‘You should be hung, drawn and quartered’
As staff tried to escort him out, Gray said that “Asians shouldn’t be in this country” and “black people shouldn’t be here because they are taking over this country”.
Police nearby were alerted to the disturbance and arrested Gray.
But Gray’s tirade of abuse was far from finished.
On being put in the back of the police van, he said: “F*** you, f****** pigs. You should be hung, drawn and quartered.”
On arrival at Kittybrewster station, Gray was taken to the nurse’s station for assessment, during which time he took the opportunity to bite the hand of the officer he was cuffed to.
Thankfully, no injury was caused.
Gray, of HMP Glenochil, pled guilty to three charges under the Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-Restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Act 2021, of assaulting a retail worker, threatening a retail worker, and threatening and abusing a retail worker.
He also admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and assaulting a police officer.
Defence agent Stuart Beveridge said his client had “long-term mental health and substance misuse problems” as well as PTSD and borderline personality disorder.
‘Shop workers are all too frequently targets for abuse from you’
He said Gray had been a relationship earlier in the year with a woman who discouraged him from taking his medication.
Mr Beveridge said: “On July 4, he and his partner split up and he was very upset about that and took all the medication he had.
“He has very little recollection after that.
“He accepts his behaviour was absolutely appalling.”
Mr Beveridge passed the sheriff a hand-written letter from Gray, who he said was now in a “far better place”.
Addressing the court himself, Gray said: “What I said and what I did… I’m not racist and I’m not homophobic.
“I said those things but I don’t hold those views in my heart.
“I actually hold the opposite views.
“My borderline personality disorder changes the person I am.”
Sheriff Andrew Miller said the members of staff affected “clearly don’t deserve to be treated how you treated them”.
He added: “This is abuse of shop workers who are trying to earn a living and, it seems, are all too frequently targets for abuse from you.”
He jailed Gray for 22 months, backdated to July 17 when he was first remanded.
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