A man shouted racist abuse at two shopkeepers after being told to leave the premises.

John Homewood, 59, was in the shop in Broad Street, Whittlesey, at about 11.30pm on November 7 last year when he was asked to leave due to previous issues.

However, as he was leaving he turned to one of the victims and tried to punch him followed by the racist insult.

In interview Homewood said he was “certainly not racist” and claimed the word he used was an accurate description.

He later admitted two counts of causing harassment, alarm or distress, which was racially aggravated, and common assault and was sentenced at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on Friday (June 16).

Homewood, of Coronation Avenue, Whittlesey, was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, ordered to pay £300 compensation to the victims, and given a 30 day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and a two-year restraining order. 

PC Gary Stabler, from Fenland’s neighbourhood policing team, said: “We have no tolerance of this kind of behaviour within our communities and, where there are viable lines of enquiry, we will always investigate and take action.

“If anyone is subjected to a hate crime, or witnesses one, I would urge them to make a report to us.”

Information about hate crime and how to report it can be found on the force website.