A MAN parking his van across another man’s drive claimed the householder told him to “go back to Pakistan” but he clarified in court that he was Portuguese.
“He was racist to me. He said, ‘Go back to Pakistan’,” Pedro Conceicao testified at Cork District Court.
“And where are you from?” Judge Olann Kelleher asked. “Portugal,” he replied, to laughter in the courtroom.
The witness then added: “There is a big difference — no offence to Pakistani people.”
David Sugrue, aged 64, said he was at home at Ard Bhaile, Mayfield, Cork, with his dog and he was watching Manchester United and Liverpool play that evening, March 6, 2020, when he saw the witness park his van halfway across his drive, which would have blocked the householder’s wife from pulling into the drive.
He went out and asked him to move his vehicle.
Mr Sugrue denied a charge of engaging in threatening or abusive words or behaviour during the incident and said he simply asked the other man politely to move his vehicle.
He denied bringing his dog out with him.
He denied making any racist comment or referring to Pakistan or any other country.
“I just said, ‘Excuse me, would you shift that car (he said it wasn’t a van) from there.’ He said to me, ‘Go and f*** yourself. I’ll park wherever I want.’ I said, grand job, and I phoned the guards,” he said.
Judge Olann Kelleher dismissed the threatening charge that was brought against the defendant.
The judge said: “I have a doubt about what happened. I dismiss the charge.
“With all the much more serious things going on in Cork, I don’t know why this man (Sugrue) was even prosecuted.”
Defence solicitor, Joseph Cuddigan, challenged the witness about the allegation that the defendant told him to go back to Pakistan.
Mr Cuddigan said the witness said in his statement to gardaí that the defendant called him “a f***ing foreigner”, and that in this statement to gardaí there was no allegation that any reference was made to Pakistan.
Mr Conceicao denied speaking to Mr Sugrue in the manner described.
Mr Conceicao claimed that Mr Sugrue came out of his home carrying a baseball bat and threatened to put it through his skull.
Mr Sugrue said he made no such comment, he was not carrying a bat, and he didn’t even have one.