A FORMER film set engineer whose mental health deteriorated during a five-and-a-half month stint in a Thai jail racially abused a psychiatric hospital support worker in Oxford.

Christopher Mackenzie, 60, shouted the vile slur – calling the NHS staff member a ‘black monkey from Africa’ – while he was an inpatient at Littlemore Hospital last July.

In a victim statement read to Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Monday morning by prosecutor Clare Barclay, the support worker said of the verbal assault: “I didn’t know how to react. I completely froze.”

He added that once he was taken to the nurses’ office he’d had time to ‘let what happened sink in’. “As I realised what Mackenzie said to me, I realised more and more no one ever should have to be called that,” he said.

The JPs were told that the support worker, who was treating another patient at the time, had also been called a number of rude names. The defendant was behind a glass door when he used the offensive language.

Mackenzie, of Cowley Road, Oxford, pleaded guilty to using racially-aggravated threatening or abusive words.

His last conviction was in 2014 for arson and threatening to damage property, when he set fire to Reading job centre.

The court heard he’d been living in Thailand but was detained and held in prison for five-and-a-half months over an issue with his papers.

During the months on remand he went unmedicated for bi-polar disorder, which he had been diagnosed with in the early 2000s after the breakdown of his marriage.

He was deported and, when he got off the plane, was detained under the Mental Health Act and taken to Littlemore Hospital. He was ill when he made the comments and had no memory of the incident.

The former special effects engineer, who had worked on film sets around the world, had since been discharged from the Oxford psychiatric hospital. He was living in 24 hour supported accommodation and was subject to a number of conditions, including a requirement to take his medication.

He was fined £200 and ordered to pay £200 in compensation and a £34 victim surcharge.

Chairman of the bench Helen Robins said: “Your victim was there to help vulnerable people and it’s unacceptable to be subject to the abuse that you subjected him to. But on the other hand, we are very well aware that a community order would serve no purpose whatsoever because you are already under a set of restrictive conditions to deal with your [mental health] conditions.”

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