A man who shouted racist abuse outside a bar walked free from court after a plea to save his career.
Oliver Beaton, 23, was charged with making racist remarks after being refused entry to the Revolution bar in Wilmslow.
He denied the charges but was found guilty. But after hearing that a harsh punishment would make it difficult for Beaton to do his job, a judge gave him a conditional discharge.
Beaton, of Prestbury Hall, Macclesfield Road, Prestbury, works for an American computer company in London, but regularly travels to the US, his barrister Peter Lodder QC, told the court.
District Judge Nicholas Sanders said: "This is an offence that was stupid. I have absolutely no wish to blight your life or your career any further because of a stupid offence."
He conditionally discharged Beaton for two years, extended from 18 months because of the racist element to the offence. Beaton was also ordered to pay £1,000 costs.
The incident occurred in the early hours of the Sunday June 13 last year. Beaton was out with friends and said he had drunk four or five pints of beer. He then tried to gain entry to Revolution on Alderley Road but was refused.
Three doormen told the court they knew Mr Beaton and had been told by the manager, who is black, not to let him in. They said he became irritated and annoyed and they overheard him making racist comments about the bar manager, who was working inside but wasn’t present.
Doorman Lee Monaghan told the court the comments were made ‘above a speaking voice’. Another, Russell Jamesty, said: "I don’t like the words, I don’t like hearing them."
Beaton told the court: "I never said those words. That is not what happened at all. I was absolutely not aggressive or threatening. I have a good relationship with the door staff. We wandered off to another bar in town, had a few drinks and went home."
He said he was very surprised to be arrested and believed it must have been ‘a misunderstanding’.
The court heard from several character witnesses who said Beaton was of exemplary character and had never made racist comments before. Judge Sanders said it was ‘totally and utterly out of character’ for Beaton but that his lack of a denial in a police interview was ‘telling’.
Summing up at Macclesfield magistrates court, sitting at Knutsford Crown Court, he said: "There were points in interview where, although you didn’t admit it, you weren’t far short.
"I believe your attitude changed when it became clear you weren’t going to be allowed in the bar. You saw the manager as the basis of the problem.
"I am also clear and sure you resorted to abuse and that that abuse included racist words.
"You said in interview that you need to grow up. I think that is a very good summary."
l After the hearing, Wilmslow Police Sergeant Andy Gardner, who is about to move to police HQ at Winsford, said he had been heavily involved in managing crime in the town at night.
He said: "I am please to see a positive outcome to this case before I leave. Over the last two years the combined efforts of our area licensees have reduced crime and disorder in our pubs and clubs dramatically.
"They have achieved this by stopping 56 would-be troublemakers socialising in or around our town centre.
"The strength of the group is also seen when challenges to the bans are made either legally via the courts or in person outside the venues.
"This case involved the arrest of a young, irresponsible individual protesting about his ban on a busy evening after his friends were allowed entry.
"The verdict further strengthens the clear message to everyone. Please come and enjoy a great evening in the area – those likely to spoil it for you will be identified and banned."