By Timothy Gallagher, (Photos: Cavendish Press)
A FORMER businesswoman from Denton, who repeatedly used the N-word to berate a black female bouncer after she was asked to leave a wetting the baby’s head party, has been ordered to pay her £250 compensation.
Single mother of two Charlene Bentley-Gray, 32 was said to have ‘gone mad’ at Mercia Bitsindou after she was ejected from a pub for being drunk and argumentative.
She was caught on camera outside the bar in Denton being held back by a friend as she told door supervisor Miss Bitsindou: “You n****r I’m going to batter you. Go on give it to me. Assault me you’re a n****r I have had enough of this s***.”
In a victim personal statement, the victim said: “This incident made me feel low. I can’t believe people still use this language in this day and age. it has made me feel I can’t attend work anymore.”
At Tameside Magistrates Court, Bentley-Gray, of Mead Way, who used to run a deli shop in the town pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated common assault. She was also ordered to complete 120 hours unpaid work,
The attack occurred on June 9 last year after Bentley-Gray had been out celebrating the birth of a relative’s baby.
Prosecutor Martha Dowd said: “Mercia Bitsindou works as a door supervisor at the public house in Denton and she had been doing that for four months and had previously worked as a door supervisor for six years.
“She had been asked to remove the defendant due to some sort of altercation within the bar. She asked the defendant to leave and initially the defendant complied with no issues.
“However, when she got outside she ‘switched’ and according to witnesses started ‘going mad.’
“Her friend was trying to pull her away but she was shouting at Mercia calling her a ‘n****r’ and saying, ‘You are going to get battered.’ She was repeating the racial language.”
Bentley-Gray later claimed she could remember little of the incident but she denied being racist. In a statement she said: “I don’t know why I came out with that term.”
A probation report read to the court said: “She has shown remorse they were out celebrating the birth of a baby in the family. She doesn’t normally drink and doesn’t remember a lot of the incident.
“However, she has shown a good insight into the impact the language she used would have had on the victim.
“It is not normal language and she has never used it before. Clearly her behaviour was affected by the amount of alcohol she had consumed at the time.
“She isn’t someone I would identify as posing a risk to society. There are certain aspects of her life which warrant support and she suffers from depression.
“She is the sole carer for two children. Both of them are in their teens and she is quite protective of them. She wants to come across as strong when she needs a lot of support. She is in debt and that was causing her anxiety at the time.”
Defence lawyer Joanne Black said: “As you can see she’s highly mortified and embarrassed by her behaviour. She’s not somebody who usually drinks and has no issues with alcohol.
“She says herself she is not a racist and adds: ‘I don’t know why I came out with that term’. She is somebody who has clearly demonstrated her remorse.”
District judge Paul Healy said: “You have behaved appallingly on the night in question the victim was just doing their job it is a difficult job they have to deal with people who have consumed alcohol, you had consumed an awful lot it is a challenging position for them to be in.
“You subjected the victim to really appalling, racist abuse and physical violence.
“If there is any repetition of this in the future, you need to appreciate the consequences. I understand the stress you were facing but that isn’t an excuse for this to take place.”