The pair were standing together on the street in the Dorset town on the southern coast of England when Danial Way overheard them speak in their native language, ripped a plank of wood off a building and smashed it into the Spaniard’s face shouting: “F***ing Spanish, Speak English”
The entire incident was caught on CCTV.
The footage shows Way fall to the ground from the force of wrenching the plank from a building. He then gets up and charges towards the Spanish pair, swinging the plank towards them.
Way then hits Gil in the face with it, causing his victim to fall to the ground.
Gil, who like many young Spaniards left a Spain crippled by high youth unemployment to seek job opportunities abroad, was briefly knocked unconscious and suffered cuts and bruises to the mouth.
He had been living in Poole for four years, finding work in restaurants, bars and a factory, but returned to Spain soon after the incident in May, he told Spanish newspaper El Español.
He said that apart from the incident caught on camera, he had never felt like a victim of “xenophobia”.
Describing the attack, Simon Jones, prosecuting, told Bournemouth Crown Court that the defendant “screamed at the victim ‘******* Spanish, speak in English’,”.
The court heard that Way was then restrained by members of the public until police arrived immediately following the attack, which happened in the early hours of Thursday, May 19th.
Judge Brian Forster called the behaviour of Way, who pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage, “totally unacceptable”.
He said: “On the morning in question, you took part in what can only be considered to be totally gratuitous and unnecessary violence.”
The judge said he had considered Way’s ‘emotionally fragile state’ before sentencing him to 12 months in prison, suspended for 15 months.
Way must also complete 150 hours of unpaid work and participate in 25 rehabilitation activity days, as well as pay his victim £800.