Dramatic moment racist thug is whacked with wooden bat by Benwell shopkeeper
Have-ago-hero shop keeper Nanthasi Theivendram beats off racist attacker Steven Brown in the Rye and Dry Store in Benwell, Newcastle
Racist lout Steven Brown got more than he bargained for when he attacked two innocent shopkeepers.
When drunken Brown launched an attack, shop owner Nanthasi Theivendram fought back.
Brown had just bought two Peperamis before launching himself at the counter and hurling racist abuse at the staff.
But a ferocious fight ended with Brown being battered with a wooden bat.
Blood splattered Brown was left with a head wound and a bruised ego after being beaten by his victim.
The horrific attack at the Rye and Dry Store in Ferguson’s Lane, Benwell, Newcastle, was caught on CCTV which helped prosecutors succeed in getting Brown a nine-month suspended jail sentence.
And today the Theivendram family spoke out and told how they were determined to defend what they have worked hard to achieve.
Nanthasi’s brother Theivendram Lojan, 33, said: “He attacked Nanthasi and my brother feared for his life and took out a wooden chair leg he had under the counter and hit him with it, he didn’t know if this man had a knife or not. But Nanthasi beat him, he defended himself.
“I called the police and tried to hold on to him until the police arrived. But he managed to leave the shop and he was arrested outside. People can’t do this, it’s not what people should do.”
Father-of-two Theivendram Lojan was in the flat upstairs when the fight broke out. Nanthasi had asked Theivendram Lojan to come to the store via the intercom system when he sensed trouble. Seconds later angry Brown jumped the counter and grabbed Nanthasi but Brown got more than he bargained for.
Theivendram Lojan, who helps out at the shop with other brother Saam, 34, added: “By the time I got there the fight was finished but the shop was a mess and there was blood on the counter and the floor. I held on to him because I wanted the police to get him.
“My brother has never had a fight in his life before but he was in fear. After this my brother moved to London and he is now wanting to sell the shop.
“We are hard-working people and we don’t want this.”
Brown was spared prison despite admitting racially aggravated assault and racially aggravated criminal damage.
Brown and his girlfriend Kelly Whelan were drunk when they went into the Store, one Sunday afternoon in October last year.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how Nanthasi served Brown as he bought two Peperamis and all seemed well. But as the shopkeeper served his next customer, Brown came back.
Graham O’Sullivan, prosecuting, said: “The defendant rushed at him and started hitting him across the counter. As he was doing so he was shouting racist abuse and proceeded to assault him from the far side of the counter then went round the side of the counter and hit him there.
“During the assault he also caused damage to property in the shop, he pushed over a sweet counter, pulled over the till and caused bottles of alcohol to be smashed.”
Mr O’Sullivan added: “Mr Theivendram defended himself using a bat he kept under the counter. Only when he hit the defendant a number of times did he back off.”
The shopkeeper called for his brother to help and when he appeared with his young child, Whelan shouted racist abuse. As they left she knocked over a sweet counter and threatened to return.
Nanthasi, 31, told how the attack left him nervous and he has now moved out of the area.
He said: “Afterwards I was very nervous about being in the shop. Last year I got married and I’m concerned for my wife’s safety because of this.”
Nanthasi suffered swelling and soreness to his head, pain in his arms and a scratched elbow in the assault. Brown, 32, of Trevelyan Drive, Newbiggin Hall, Newcastle, was given a nine-month suspended prison sentence with 150 hours of unpaid work and must pay £1,000 compensation.
Judge Deborah Sherwin told him: “Shopkeepers are very vulnerable, particularly in small corner stores.
“You struck him a number of times, even going behind the counter to assault him. The shopkeeper managed to fight you off as he kept a bat in case of such eventualities.”
Geoff Cook, for Brown, said: “He does not class himself as racist and would not usually do that. Drink is his problem, he had far too much. He had a property maintenance business but his relationship broke down and he ran the business down.
Whelan was dealt with previously by magistrates. She was fined £110 plus £40 costs for a racially aggravated public order offence.