Drunk racist ranter spits and curses in NZ Catholic church

racist ranter

A drunk man who vented vile racist comments at three people in an unnamed Hamilton Catholic church has appeared in the Hamilton District Court.

Claiming to be a Catholic, the man even spat at the people.

Craig George Murray’s behaviour made very unpleasant reading, said Judge Arthur Tompkins as he sentenced Murray for the incident.

What happened

Tomkins heard Murray began his racist rant late on a Saturday evening last October. His three victims were setting up for the following morning’s Mass.

Initially, Murray stayed in the church foyer while younger associates walked around the church interior.

They left soon afterwards with Murray.

However, Murray became “enraged” and ran back into the church foyer yelling that it was his church and the three workers were not supposed to be there.


Murray then turned on one of the workers, who was trying to get away from him. He pushed the man in the chest with both hands three times, shouting “Get out, you’re black!”

The victim ran out and got into a friend’s car. The two other church workers also left the church, hoping Murray would leave.

Instead, Murray approached one of them and began pushing him in the chest, racially abusing him using the foulest language, all the while claiming to be a Catholic.

Murray then spat on the third worker’s face, after being asked to “please leave”. He went on to shove the man in the back as he turned to walk away.

Murray’s younger associates tried and failed to pull him away.

Not yet finished, Murray went to the car his first victim had fled to, screaming that he’d hunt him down.

He continued in this manner until his partner arrived and said the police were on their way.

He fled and was arrested at home. He denied making any racial slurs or spitting at anyone.

Shame and sentencing

Murray’s victims “understandably” did not want to attend a restorative justice conference, his lawyer told the Court.

Her client had written a letter of remorse to them instead .

She told Tompkins that Murray had been highly intoxicated during the incident.

Murray was so ashamed of his behaviour he couldn’t watch the CCTV footage that had recorded the incident, his lawyer said.

She pushed for a sentence to include supervision to address his rehabilitative needs.

Tompkins asked Probation Service staff in court whether there were any “anti-racism programmes” Murray could participate in. There were not.

“It would be beneficial both to Mr Murray himself if as part of his supervision he could given psychological treatment to address a spectrum of issues.”

Tompkins sentenced Murray to three months’ community detention and nine months’ supervision for the three charges of common assault.

He has suppressed the victims’ names and the name of the church.


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