Ice cream van man's racist tirade against Edinburgh professor

AN ice cream vendor has avoided jail for shouting racial insults at a Saudi professor after parking his van over the man's driveway in the Broomhouse area of Edinburgh.

Sunday, 17th July 2016, 2:28 pm
Updated Sunday, 17th July 2016, 4:42 pm
Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Edward Barr, 49, was on his weekly rounds in the capital when he stopped his van outside the home of Waleed Bin Rashid.

Professor Bin Rashid, who has lived in Scotland for six years, was attempting to leave his driveway when he found his path blocked by Barr’s vehicle.

But when the Saudi law professor asked the ice cream driver to move out of the way he was bombarded with racist insults.

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Barr, from Hamilton, Lanarkshire, shouted: “go home you f***ing foreigner” and “f**k off you Paki c**t – why are you even here?” at Mr Bin Rashid.

Barr denied using racist language during the bust-up in July last year but was found guilty following a trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month.

The 42-year-old said: “I was leaving my house to buy milk for my young daughter when I noticed the driveway was blocked by the van. I peeped my horn once to let him know I was there but he just ignored me.

“I got out and asked him politely to move but again he just ignored me and carried on serving. I took my phone out to take a picture of the van but he soon started shouting “go home you f***ing foreigner” at me.

“He was telling me to go back to my own country – I felt intimidated.”

Neighbour Andrew Beveridge told the court after hearing the row outside his home he went out to find “both men shouting” at each other.

Mr Beveridge, 23, said: “I saw an ice cream van parked over my neighbour’s driveway and there was a heated arguement going on.

“But the van driver was being very unpleasant and abusive. The guy said ‘fuck off, go back to your own country’ and also called him ‘a Paki c**t’.

“My neighbour was shouting by this time but he didn’t say anything offensive – he was just trying to defend himself.”

Self-employed Barr admitted he had parked over the driveway but had not heard Mr Bin Rashid peeping his horn, but that he had not used racist language during the confrontation.

He said: “I could see the vehicle in the drive but I wasn’t aware there was a driver in the car. Straight out he said to me ‘you are a racist and I’m phoning the police’.

“I was serving a customer and I told him to calm down. It was in broken English and I couldn’t understand him half the time.

“But at no time did I use racist language – I am not a racist.”

But following the evidence, Sheriff William Taylor did not agree and found the ice-cream man guilty of acting in racially aggravated manner and uttering racially offensive remarks at Broomhouse, Edinburgh, on 8 July last year.

And on Friday Sheriff Taylor sentenced Barr to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community.