Umbrella-wielding ex-soldier who hurled racist abuse at teacher as he chased him down street is spared jail after court hears he had PTSD and had just been at funeral of a military friend
- Former soldier Robert Browne pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault
- Footage showed Browne chasing Shabir Makim down a street with umbrellas
- The viral video showed 56-year-old Browne hurling the P-word at Mr Makim, 40
- He was handed a 10-week suspended sentence at Tameside Magistrates Court
A former soldier who chased a teacher down a street while wielding umbrellas and hurling racist abuse has avoided jail after the court heard he had been diagnosed with PTSD and had just been at a funeral for a military friend.
Robert Browne, 56, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated common assault at Tameside Magistrates Court after a viral video showed him shouting a racist slur at 40-year-old teacher Shabir Makim.
Footage from July showed Browne chasing Makim down a street in Cheadle, Stockport, while threatening to kill the teacher and jabbing him with two umbrellas – one in each hand.
The ex-soldier goes on to repeatedly call Mr Makim the P-word, as well as a a ‘b*****d’ and a ‘c***’.
Former soldier Robert Browne (pictured left and right) was handed a 10-week suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault
The attack occurred after Mr Makim heard Browne harassing a homeless person nearby.
Speaking at the time Mr Makim explained: ‘The homeless man was just minding his own business – he’s a local homeless man who everyone knows.’
Mr Makim started filming the ‘aggressive’ incident after he heard Browne ask the homeless man things like ‘why are you here’ and ‘why don’t you work’, speaking in a ‘nasty tone’.
Yesterday, the ex-soldier was handed a 10-week sentenced suspended for 18-months, and ordered to pay the teacher £300 following his guilty plea.
Speaking outside the court yesterday, Mr Makim said that Brown’s sentencing was ‘unacceptable’ and that his sentence was ‘completely ‘unjustified’.
He said: ‘I think (the sentence) is completely unjustified, he has basically been let out free and he can go and do it again if he wants.
‘I don’t feel justice has been done – for what I went through – it’s unacceptable.’
Speaking to ITV following the sentence Mr Makim (pictured) said it was ‘sickening and worrying’ that this sort of attack can occur
During the sentencing, Browne apologised and said he had been under the influence of alcohol when he carried out the attack.
He told the court: ‘I apologise for my behaviour on that day. It was unacceptable.’
The court also heard Browne, from Buxton, had recently been diagnosed with PTSD and on the day had been attending the funeral of a friend from the military.
While sentencing Browne, Magistrate Catherine Meek told him he was ‘lucky not to be jailed’ and that his behaviour was ‘horrifying to watch’.
Speaking to ITV following the sentencing Mr Makim recalled the incident.
He said: ‘He got very angry and thrust his umbrellas towards my eyes.
‘They weren’t small umbrellas, big umbrellas, I think one or two of them had metal ends to them.
‘The strength he used to thrust forward would gone to the back of my brain had it gone through my eyes.’
The attack led Mr Makim to spend a night in hospital and go for CT scans after he suffered bumps to the side of the head a concussion.
He said it was ‘sickening and worrying’ that this sort of attack can occur, adding that an ‘elderly’ or ‘more vulnerable’ person might not have defended themselves as easily.
After Mr Makim shared the video with his friends and family in a WhatsApp group, it was then shared on Twitter where it gained 1.5m views.