Man who racially abused McDonald’s worker is jailed for four years

Police are investigating a burglary in Hoxne . Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Police are investigating a burglary in Hoxne . Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

An Essex man who harassed a woman and stole her car, broke into a stranger’s home and racially assaulted an innocent restaurant worker all in one day, has been jailed for four years,

Alan Merry, 33, of South Close, St Osyth was handed a four year sentence as well as a further four years on licence for harassment at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday, March 15.

He also received 18 months for racially aggravated assault, six months for another count of harassment, six months for taking a motor vehicle without consent and four months for violent entry, all to run concurrently. He was also sentenced for driving without a licence.

On August 17, 2018, Merry breached a restraining order by attending a woman’s home and demanding that she drive him to a relative’s address. The victim agreed after fearing for her safety.

When they arrived, he took her car keys to stop her driving off.

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The woman was some distance away from home and hid from Merry. She called a taxi to collect her and she was taken to a friend’s address.

However, she was tricked into coming back to her car by Merry after he posed as a concerned relative by using their phone.

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The woman pleaded with Merry to allow her to return back home and he agreed on the basis that he would return with her. When they were close to her address, the woman managed to escape but had her car stolen.

Merry searched for her, even forcing entry to a stranger’s home in Clacton believing a friend of the victim’s lived there.

At around 9.15pm that day, Merry entered McDonalds, in Colchester Road, Weeley, and became aggressive, he was shouting and swearing.

A worker challenged him on his behaviour and he racially abused her and assaulted her.

Investigating officer Dc Claire Lukey, of Clacton’s Domestic Abuse Team, said: “Merry actions were very distressing and they have had a long lasting impact on his victims. The domestic element of his crime was prolonged and he caused the victim to fear for her safety.

“She bravely went to court today and has shown an enormous amount of bravery throughout this case.

“I also want to thank the victims for their support throughout our investigations.”

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