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Metrolink racist had to leave court to attend hospital

Photo: MEN Syndication

A man was taken to hospital from court as he was due to be sentenced over the racial abuse of a US Army veteran - after seeing his pal locked up.

Robert Molloy was jailed for 24 weeks after Juan Jasso was abused on a Metrolink tram in the city centre.

But his co-defendant Aaron Cauchi, who admitted two public order offences and assault, left court in a wheelchair and was rushed to Manchester Royal Infirmary after he complained of ‘severe stomach pains’.

Credit: MEN Syndication

He was bailed and will appear again for sentence at Manchester Magistrates Court on February 21.

Cauchi, 19, said he was experiencing stomach pains and sat hunched over in the dock.

A member of court security staff spotted him lay down outside court and called for an ambulance.

It comes after sentencing was originally postponed on Monday, when pre-sentence reports were not ready in time.

Magistrates doubled Molloy’s sentence from 12 weeks because of the severity of the racial element of the offence.

Credit: MEN Syndication

Molloy, 20, was also given a two year criminal behaviour order, which bans him from the Metrolink network as well as prohibiting him from associating with his co-defendants.

The incident involved Mr Jasso, who has lived in the UK for 18 years, being told to ‘get back to Africa’.

Happening five days after the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, Cauchi’s defence lawyer James McDermott said the incident had Brexit as its backdrop, with hate crimes rising by 41 per cent following the referendum.

He said:

For several months those in positions of great responsibility employed divisive rhetoric which clearly has had an impact.

– Cauchi’s defence lawyer, James McDermott

The group later behaved in an intimidating way towards a passerby, and also spat at a cyclist.

Molloy’s defence solicitor Lorna Wincote said the 20-year-old has been homeless since March last year, and is ashamed of his behaviour.

Addressing Molloy, Chairman of the Bench Michael Evans described the incident as an ‘alcohol-fuelled rampage around Manchester causing considerable fear to members of the public including children’.

He added:

Hopefully when you are released from prison a lesson will be learned and you will be able to make a positive contribution and treat people with respect.

– Chair-of-the-Bench, Michael Evans

After the case, Joseph O’Connor, crown prosecutor for CPS North West said:

I hope that this case serves as a warning that such behaviour will not be tolerated in our cities.

Those who live and work in the city and those who use public transport have the right to do so safely and without fear of receiving such abhorrent abuse.

– Joseph O’Connor, crown prosecutor
  • Molloy, of no fixed abode, admitted one count of assault, one of using threatening words and behaviour and another of racially aggravated assault. He was also ordered to pay costs of £400 and a total of £150 compensation.
  • Cauchi, of Spa Crescent, Little Hulton, admitted two counts of using threatening words and behaviour and one count of assault, and a further two counts of assault for an incident later that day.
  • A third defendant, a 16-year-old from Salford, was sentenced to a six-month referral order after appearing at youth court on Monday. He admitted one count of using threatening words and behaviour and one of assault.