Worthing man convicted of religious and disablist hate crimes after ‘unprovoked’ incident in Worthing supermarket

A Worthing man has been convicted of disablist and religious hate after an unprovoked incident at Durrington Tesco Extra.

John Stahl, 45, of Wallace Avenue, was refused service, due to his demeanour and behaviour, when trying to buy alcohol at the store.

Police said Stahl was restrained by staff after becoming aggressive at around 11.30pm on June 1.

During the incident he assaulted a member of staff, and made a number of abusive and hate-based comments to people nearby, including a wheelchair user.

Officers arrested and charged Stahl with assault and two counts of using threatening, abusive or insulting words, or behaviour with intent to cause harassment alarm or distress.

Stahl pleaded guilty to all three offences and was sentenced to a 12-month community order, and ordered to pay a £50 fine, £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Prevention Sergeant Peter Allan, said:

“I am pleased that the court deemed the offences to be hate related and used the powers available to them to increase the sentence imposed.

“It is especially pleasing as disablist hate crime is recognised as being significantly under-reported.

“The sentence imposed in this case demonstrates the seriousness with which Sussex Police and the wider criminal justice system takes such behaviour.

“I hope the sentence sends a clear message to those who are victims of hate crime, that we will take the matter seriously and seek to hold the perpetrators of such a personal crime to account.”

More Radio is continuously dedicated to providing a quality news service on-air and online, reporting local stories that matter across Sussex.

If you enjoyed reading this story, then check out our home page at moreradio.online where you can find the latest from the county, along with features and competitions from our presenters, as well as listening to the station live.

You can also sign up to our news alerts to receive updates on new stories. Simply click on the bell at the bottom right of the home page. This will then allow a pop-up which will ask if you would like to receive alerts. Press ‘allow’ and you’re all signed up!

You can also follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.