A SCAFFOLDER who abused a Christian missionary on his way to south-east Asia to do humanitarian work and branded him a “nonce” has been been ordered to do 100 hours’ unpaid work.

The 70-year-old missionary, who was embarking on a journey to Cambodia and Thailand, was forced to endure an onslaught of harrassment and insults during a train journey from Newcastle to Darlington, a court heard.

Offshore worker Mark Paul McKinley was found guilty of using words or behaviour likely to make a person fear unlawful violence. The 26-yearold, of Cleveland Street, Middlesbrough, did not attend the trial at Darlington Magistrates’ Court last month because his flight home from holiday was delayed.

Blair Martin, prosecuting, told the court the missionary, from Aberdeen, boarded the train in Newcastle, carrying two large bags filled with Bibles and Christian booklets.

McKinley and an accomplice, who had both been drinking, helped the man onto the train with his luggage and struck up a conversation.

But when he told them he was travelling to south-east Asia they started to abuse him, calling him a “nonce”

and told him they would stop him from getting off the train.

They accused him of carrying sex toys and claimed he intended to behave in the same way as Gary Glitter.

Mr Martin said the missionary told police he had been very frightened and believed he would be badly hurt.

The pair were arrested when they got off the train at Darlington.

“Mr McKinley protested about his arrest to the police, saying “You’re f***ing joking, he’s a nonce and you’re locking me up,’” said Mr Martin.

“While waiting for transport, Mr McKinley said, ‘He’s a f***ing nonce, he has sex with little girls.’”

McKinley, who was unrepresented, denied using the word “nonce” and said he had not intended to make the missionary feel physically threatened.

Probation officer Craig McKinley recommended a community order with unpaid work. “That will punish Mr McKinley for his appalling actions,”

he said.

McKinley was ordered to complete a 12-month community order with 100 hours’ unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £300 costs.