A recycling company owner who was found guilty of using racist abuse against a Polish driver has been handed a suspended sentence.
Mark Robert Fleming, 53, of Junction Road, Sutton, told the Trent Barton driver to “go back to where he came from” and swore at him after the pair clashed in August.
Fleming became aggressive towards the driver after he parked his bus close to the entrance of Fleming’s neighbouring recycling company on Maun Valley Industrial Estate.
The driver had been carrying out routine checks on his vehicle before starting on his route.
He continued being abusive when a Trent Barton supervisor came out to help, and also towards a police officer when he turned up, even calling the police “corrupt”.
It led to him being arrested.
Fleming accepted he had sworn at the officer, but denied a charge of using racially-aggravated threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour towards the Polish driver.
Defending himself, he said he was unable to afford legal representation but intended to appeal against his conviction.
He claimed CCTV from the bus on the day in question had been deleted which could have helped his case and admitted there was “an ongoing situation with Trent Barton and staff at the depot”, hinting there had been other problems with the bus company.
Fleming says it was the driver who had sworn at him first after ignoring his requests to move the bus, claiming he had been “perfectly polite”.
He was given four week’s jail, suspended for 12 months, made to pay £100 compensation to the bus driver, an £80 surcharge and £1,000 in court costs.