Sentence upheld for Racist Abuse

 A DRUNKEN thug who hurled racial abuse at a vulnerable man before knocking out his false teeth and stealing his phone has been told he cannot complain about his jail term.

Vytautas Sakalauskas, 33, of Corporation Road, Newport, was jailed for 15 months at Cardiff Crown Court in February, after admitting racially aggravated assault occasioning actual bodily harm and theft.

He challenged his sentence at London's Criminal Appeal Court, with his lawyers arguing it was "too long" for his crimes.

But his appeal was dismissed by top judges, who said the term was "not excessive".

Mrs Justice Macur told the court the victim - a mixed-race man with learning difficulties - was making his way home through Newport town centre when Sakalauskas racially abused, threatened and pushed him.

The victim tried to get away by saying he had to get home because he had work to do, but Sakalauskas swore and said that he "needed blowing up".

He then struck the victim, knocking his false teeth out and his glasses from his face, and causing him to fall to the ground.

Sakalauskas kicked the man as he lay on the ground, before running off with his mobile phone - which had fallen out of his pocket in the attack.

The victim was left with bruising and swelling to his face, shoulder and back as a result of the attack.

Sakalauskas was arrested and initially denied any wrongdoing, but later admitted his guilt and told a probation officer he had no memory of the incident because he was drunk.

His lawyers argued his jail term was "too long", saying the crown court judge increased it too much for the racial element of the attack.

But, dismissing the appeal, Mrs Justice Macur, sitting with Lord Justice Pitchford and Judge Paul Batty QC, said the sentence was justified, given the circumstances of the case.

South Wales Argus - http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/gwentnews/9691468.Sentence_upheld_on_Newport_thug/