A former soldier has been jailed after telling a security guard in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary to ‘go back to his own country’.
James Bridgewood made the prejudicial remark while visiting his sick mother on May 21 this year.
A nurse alerted security to the 36-year-old, of Yews Hill Road in Lockwood, Huddersfield , because he started acting aggressively on the ward, Leeds Crown Court heard.
The incident happened on May 21 this year on ward 17 of the hospital which contained a number of sick elderly patients.
Prosecutor Susan Evans said the security guard who came to the ward to deal with Bridgewood was of Romanian descent.
He asked the defendant if they could speak elsewhere but he refused so the security guard called police to the ward.
Bridgewood jumped out at the security guard twice before pushing him and saying: “Go back to your own country.”
He then said to officers who led him away from the ward: “F**king foreign people.”
Bridgewood, who appeared in court via video link from Leeds prison, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress.
He has previous convictions including burglary, attempted burglary, harassment, threatening behaviour, breaching court orders and most recently assaulting a police officer and having an article with a blade or a point in a public place .
Anastasis Tasou, mitigating, said his client was medically discharged from the army after serving as a solider in Afghanistan and Iraq and seeing some of his friends and colleagues die and now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
He said Bridgewood relies ‘extremely heavily’ on his mother and he took it badly when his mother became ill.
Mr Tasou said Bridgewood tried to ask hospital staff what was wrong with his mother and was told: “Sorry, we can’t tell you.”
The court heard his mother had serious conditions including a collapsed lung and cirrhosis of the liver.
Sentencing, Judge Geoffrey Marson QC told him: “One cannot help but be impressed by the service you have given your country and the obviously very heavy toll it has taken on you. I am entirely sympathetic to that . . .
“But there will come a time when that ceases to be of any mitigation.”
Bridgewood was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment, of which he will serve half before being eligible for release on licence.
The judge added: “Please try to moderate your behaviour because no one takes pleasure in sending someone with your history to custody.”