Riyad Hantouli, 39, who has avoided jail, was repeatedly arrested after he racially abused restaurant staff working at night near his flat in Manchester whenever he tried to get free food at their eateries.
In one incident, Hantouli, who had been drinking, threatened to kill a waiter and spat in his face when he was refused a drink and later told another worker: ‘You Iranian and Pakistanis are all the same.’
A third worker was told: ‘I’m your boss, I’m paying your money. I’m going to damage your car and set the takeaway on fire’ – before unemployed Hantouli spat at him, missed and instead hit a member of the public standing nearby.
On one occasion officers were called to arrest Hantouli after he tried to cadge a free lift in a taxi and had to struggle to detain him as he shouted: ‘I am going to remember your face, I am going to shoot you.’ Several of the sick outbursts took place whilst Hantouli was on bail.
The father-of-one, who receives state benefits, has racked up a string of convictions since arriving in Britain in 2002, having claimed he was persecuted because of his colour and religion in his native Palestine.
Two years ago he was caught looting bunches of flowers from a memorial to a teenager killed in a road crash and has a criminal record dating back to 2008 including a conviction for religiously aggravated harassment.
At Manchester Magistrates’ Court, Hantouli was convicted of offences of causing racially aggravated fear of violence, assault, theft and being drunk and disorderly.
But he was given a 20-week jail term suspended for two years and told to complete 200 hours of unpaid work. He was also banned from three takeaway restaurants under the terms of a restraining order.
District judge David Scanlon said he would have jailed Hantouli but had to let him go due to time he had already served on remand. He warned him he would go back to prison if he got into trouble again or refused to do unpaid work.
The judge said: ‘Something that comes out loud and clear in the report is you have an established pattern of what appears to be unprovoked, aggressive and abusive behaviour.
‘It’s not the first time you have been to court, my initial inclination would be to say the community should be protected to the standard I think they deserve which means you go out and go somewhere out of circulation.
‘That would be a sentence you completely merit. But to some extent that’s been taken away of any decision I can make because of the time you have spent in custody.
‘I’m going to try and protect everybody in the best way I think I can. Take the assistance on offer and it might just keep you out from where you’re standing at the moment.’
The incidents occurred on various dates between January and February after Hantouli had been fired from his job at the Zouk Bar and Grill in Manchester.
Nicola Durham, prosecuting, said despite his dismissal, Hantouli would turn up at the bar, ask for drinks – then refuse to pay.
Matters came to a head in January this year when a barman refused to serve him.
Miss Durham said: ‘He became angry and called him a “motherf***er”, and said “I’ll kill you”. He continued to call him a “motherf***er” and spat straight into his face.
‘The following day, the defendant saw the same man getting out of a taxi and approached him, began calling him a motherfucker and grabbed his clothing.
‘He pushed his head into a wall and punched Mr Norbert’s face with a closed fist. He then kicked him to the shin.
‘As a result of the assault he suffered soreness and redness to his left cheek, a sore left shin and a lump to the right side of his head from the assault.’
Eight days later, Hantouli went to Vanilla Fudge takeaway and asked for a chicken burger only to then claim his card was not working.
The worker said he could pay next time but Hantouli then asked if he could be loaned £10 and when it was refused he ranted: ‘Iranian b*****d, all you Iranian and Pakistanis are all the same. You are an Iranian b*****d you motherf***er. Iranians don’t come into my shop’.
Also that evening an Asian worker at the Spicy Delight called police after Hantouli got some beer only to then threaten him saying ‘You motherf***er I’m your boss, I’m paying your money. I’m going to damage your car and set the takeaway on fire.’
He then spat at the worker but missed and hit an unknown member of the public and police were called to the scene to detain him.
But just days later, police had to arrest Hantouli again amid fears he was armed with a knife after a taxi driver said he threatened by him having refused to pay his fare. Hantouli overheard shouting: ‘motherf***er’ at the cabbie driver as he was led away.
Then on February 28, officers were called out again when Hantouli refused to pay another taxi fare and he began spitting and swearing at them when was confronted.
After being handcuffed and placed in the back of the van, he continued to spit and kick the door saying: ‘I am going to remember you face, I am going to shoot you.’
Harry Boodhoo, defending, said his client had begun drinking after losing his job.
He added: ‘He did start his own business in Bolton as well however because he has been in custody that has failed as well. Once he leaves custody he will probably have to be reliant on benefits on his release.
‘He has been here for 14 years, is an asylum seeker who was persecuted in Palestine and he had his asylum approved to be in this country. He has expressed to me that he has issues with not just alcohol but also depression.
‘He has clearly not behaved very well and is remorseful for his actions and he just wants to put things right as best he can.
‘While he was at Zouk there was a dispute about work he had done and commitments that led to things falling apart and taking the wrong steps. He’s confronted people and behaved in the wrong way.’
Hantouli was also ordered to pay £165 compensation and costs of £515.
In an earlier hearing he spoke through an interpreter and said: ‘I admit I have done wrong and I will try my best to change the way I live my life.
‘There was a problem with the police and I believe I was beaten up and I wasn’t aware of what I was saying.’