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Britain First supporter jailed after van attack

Sky News logo Sky News 13/01/2018
Marek Zakrocki © Other Marek Zakrocki

A Britain First supporter who chased an Asian man around a shopping centre and shouted "white power" before driving at a curry house owner during a drunken rampage has been jailed for 33 weeks.

Polish-born window fitter Marek Zakrocki told a police officer he was going to "kill a Muslim" before driving his van at 5mph in the direction of the owner of the Spicy Night restaurant in Alexandra Parade, Harrow, northwest London.

The drunken episode, which also saw him assault his wife, took place on the first anniversary of the Brexit vote on 23 June last year.

The 48-year-old, who was initially charged with attempted murder, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, battering his wife and admitted drink-driving as he appeared at the Old Bailey via a video link from Wormwood Scrubs.

Judge Anthony Leonard QC said there was evidence of "abhorrent" racist views but said the effect of alcohol caused Zakrocki to carry out his crimes.

The attack took place on the first anniversary of the Brexit vote © PA The attack took place on the first anniversary of the Brexit vote

"You committed these offences at a time of heightened tension because of the attack on a Muslim outside a mosque in London," he said.

The judge added: "In your drunken state what you said and the way you behaved would have been both offensive and put persons in fear."

In addition to the 33-week sentence, the man was disqualified from driving for three years.

However, Zakrocki is likely to walk free from Wormwood Scrubs after serving his time on remand.

The smashed window of the Spicy Night restaurant © PA The smashed window of the Spicy Night restaurant

At the start of the trial last month prosecutor Denis Barry said the man had "far too much to drink" before launching his rampage, which led to the restaurant's window being smashed.

"During the course of that evening he assaulted his wife, drove off in his work vehicle, insulted a series of passers-by and then drove his vehicle at the owner of a curry house, breaking the window of the restaurant," he said.

"It's plain that his conduct is very likely to have been motivated by his views about our diverse society."

Zakrocki, who was drunk on wine, grabbed his wife's arm and threatened to "kill people" and himself before going on his rampage around Harrow, during which he made a Nazi salute and pushed and chased the unknown man around a shopping centre.

His family alerted police, who called the man. Zakrocki told an officer on the phone: "I'm going to kill a Muslim. I'm doing it for Britain.

"This is how I'm going to help the country. You people cannot do anything."

Police later stopped Zakrocki who had a Nazi coin in his pocket and a stash of Britain First flyers at his home in Harrow.

Richard Furlong, defending, said his client was "not racist" and "plainly somebody who has a lengthy history of alcohol abuse".

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