During a bizarre torrent of verbal abuse, a Lanark police officer was accused of being an Israeli secret agent and a Saddam Hussein lookalike.
At Lanark Sheriff Court last Thursday, Nicholas Diplacito admitted making racially-offensive remarks to Constable Araf Sadiq, causing him distress, while under arrest in the town’s West Port police station on July 18.
A plea of guilty was also made by Diplacitio, 31, of Smyllum Park, Lanark, to having behaved in a threatening manner earlier that day.
His not-guilty plea to a further charge of resisting arrest on that date was accepted by the crown.
The court was told that, at 4am, an ex-partner of Diplacito was awoken in her home in Lanark’s Battismans by the sound of him shouting and swearing outside, kicking and banging her door and making threats to her new partner.
Alarmed, she called the police and Constables Sadiq and Melitta Pilu arrived and arrested Diplacito for causing the disturbance.
He was taken to Lanark police station where he started shouting at Constable Sadiq ‘you’re Mossad, you Israeli b*****d’.
He was warned about his behaviour, but he responded: “I am not racist. That is my opinion, and that is not racist.”
He then started to mock and imitate Constable Sadiq’s accent, calling him “Saddam Hussein” and a “specky b*****d.”
Diplacito’s solicitor, who did not identify himself, told the court that the incident had come at a time when his client’s life was at a particularly low ebb as he had just lost his job.
He’d been drinking at a friend’s house and, on his way home, “somehow thought it would be a good idea to remonstrate with his ex-partner and her new boyfriend because their lives were successful and his wasn’t”.
The solicitor went on to say that Diplacito had only a limted previous record and that he was an intelligent man.
The type of racist remarks he made to Constable Sadiq were “not the usual kind” and “he was trying to get the constable into a conversation.”
He added: “He knows he has put his liberty at risk.”
Sheriff Scott Pattison agreed with that comment, saying: “The offences here are serious enough for a custodial sentence.”
However, he added that he had decided to instead order Diplacito to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.