A SHOP fitter has been jailed for spitting in a gay couple’s faces and targeting one of them with homophobic abuse.
Jason Gascoigne, of Johnson Road, Uttoxeter, was jailed for four weeks after admitting assault by beating of David Remmer on August 27 and Andrew Riley on September 12 at Burton Magistrates’ Court.
Celia Thorpe, prosecuting, told the court how both of the incidents occurred at the Steeplechase pub, in Bridge Street, and that the couple ran Ye Olde Talbot, in Market Place.
Mr Remmer, the pub’s licensee and chairman of the local Pub Watch scheme, had gone to the Steeplechase to take some documentation to the landlady when he noticed the defendant at the bar.
He then felt a nudge in his back and saw Gascoigne who asked if he was still barred from his pub.
When told it was a lifetime ban, the 40-year-old spat in his victim’s face which landed on his nose and cheek.
Mr Remmer said he was ‘humiliated and disgusted by his behaviour’.
Gascoigne accepted he spat in the direction of Mr Remmer but it was not aimed directly at his face and as a result of this he was barred from the Steeplechase.
The second incident occurred when Mr Riley was minding the Steeplechase and he became aware of the presence of Gascoigne despite him being banned.
Mr Riley went to where he was in an outside area in a group to tell him that he should not be in the pub when Gascoigne protested and became agitated.
He pointed at his victim and ‘poked him in the chest’ and used homophobic terms before spitting in his face which landed between his eyes.
Mr Riley walked away and radioed the police who interviewed the defendant and received a ‘mixed response’ in two interviews.
Mrs Thorpe said the homophobic remarks were an aggravating feature and the ‘defendant demonstrated hostility based on presumed sexual orientation’.
David Ellis, defending, said the first incident related to a ‘chance meeting’ between the defendant and victim when there was a short conversation.
The court heard how Gascoigne accepted he spat out in the ‘general direction’ of Mr Remmer.
“He says it was more of a reckless act rather than intentional,” said Mr Ellis.
Gascoigne accepts he used homophobic language in the second incident.
Mr Ellis said there was a conversation between the two men which at some point became heated which the defendant said was because of something said by Mr Riley.
He accepted he spat in his face and he should not have done it.
Magistrates ordered Gascoigne to be banned for two years from Ye Olde Talbot and the Steeplechase as well as jailed, stating the second offence was more serious due to the homophobic language.