Syrian man beaten in racist attack after he asked driver to move his car
Hakam Kharsa was told to ‘go back to where you came from’ (Picture: Evening Gazette)

A Syrian delivery driver was punched and kicked in a violent racist attack after he asked a man to move his car.

Hakam Kharsa was told to ‘go back to where you came from’ after he’d asked Shaun Willans to move his BMW, which was blocking Dunoon Close in Ragworth, Stockton.

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Willans, 29, had become angry after asking Hakam if he was English, before punching him the face and kicking him repeatedly in the leg.

Teesside Crown Court heard that a 12-year-old girl, playing out with two friends, screamed and cried after seeing the vicious attack which broke the victim’s glasses and left him on crutches.

The assault took place on September 8 last year, when Hakam was delivering food to another home on the cul-de-sac.

Syrian man beaten in racist attack after he asked driver to move his car
Shaun Willans became irate after asking if Mr Kharsa was English (Picture: Evening Gazette)

Willans was sat in his BMW car and reacted angrily when asked to move.

Prosecutor Harry Hadfield said: ‘The defendant walked towards the victim and shouted “are you English?”

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‘When he replied no, he was sworn at and punched to the face. He was then kicked viciously which left him with a swollen knee. As he escaped, he was sworn at again.’

Hakam faced his attacker in court to read a statement, and said: ‘This incident has left me feeling really bad, it made the little girl very sad, they were crying. I was very sad and feeling very upset.

‘I feel unsafe, even when I am walking in the street. I feel like if I say hello to someone I’m going to get punched in the face and I feel scared even with my kids.’

Pictures were shown to Recorder of Middlesbrough Simon Bourne Arton QC, of Mr Kharsa’s injuries.

Judge Bourne Arton said due to the extent of the injuries, he was surprised Willans had not been charged with causing actual bodily harm – and asked Mr Hadfield to pass on his concerns to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Defending, Paul Abrahams said that photos and details of Mr Kharsa’s injuries could not increase Willans’ sentence, as they had only been introduced at his sentencing hearing.

Willans, of Norton Road, Stockton, had been found guilty of racially aggravated common assault at a Teesside Magistrates’ Court trial in May.

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Last July, Willans received a nine-month jail sentence, suspended for two years for his part in an affray involving his two brothers.

The judge said: ‘You carried out an unprovoked attack on this man, simply because he was a foreigner. Anyone who attacks someone for this reason on the streets of this town can expect to be punished severely.’

He imposed Willans’ suspended sentence and ordered he spend another seven months on top of that in prison, jailing him for 16 months in total.

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