A WAR hero called Asian serving staff “Taliban b******s” and lobbed food at them because he was unhappy with the chicken nuggets he had bought.
Falklands veteran Donald Meechan smashed a glass fridge counter in the Spice Cottage takeaway in Blackridge, West Lothian, causing £1000 of damage.
During the rampage he drunkenly brandished a metal pole from the broken display at frightened staff and threw food at them as they cowered in the kitchen.
Livingston Sheriff Court heard how Meechan suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) brought on by his service in the Falklands.
The 52-year-old veteran served with the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards at the Battle for Tumbledown Mountain in 1982, when eight of his regimental colleagues were killed and 43 wounded.
The court was told his actions were out of character and brought on by combat stress when he subjected shop owner Khaleef Rahaman and his staff to an aggressive tirade of racial abuse during the row last December. Meechan shouted and swore using phrases such as “Taliban b******” and “Paki b******” and threatened to kill them all.
When he was arrested later at his home nearby he told police the incident happened as a result of him complaining about the chicken nuggets he had been served.
Anna Murphy, defending, claimed the argument had been two-sided and said Meechan had reacted angrily when shop staff called him a “Scottish b******” after he complained about the food.
She said: “He’s embarrassed by his actions and very much regrets the damage and upset he caused. The action has a lot to do with the PTSD which Mr Meechan suffered.
“The psychiatric report describes him as having an enduring personality change as a result of his traumatic experiences. He’s on a waiting list for a residential course with the support group Combat Stress, and their diagnosis is PTSD.”
Meechan pleaded guilty to charges of acting in a racially aggravated manner and behaving in a threatening and abusive manner at an earlier hearing.
Passing sentence, Sheriff Gerard Sinclair said it was clear Meechan had mental health difficulties from his active service. He said: “I’m happy to accept that this was certainly a contributory factor in your conduct.”
He placed Meechan under social work supervision for a year and ordered him to pay £500 compensation.