Ranting racist ordered to change his ways

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A RACIST has been ordered to take a course to change his attitude towards black people.

John Bage, 34, caused alarm and distress to Steven Ikpeoha by calling him a “black b******”, Livingston Sheriff Court heard.

He made the comment within earshot of two police officers and was arrested on the spot near his home in Whitburn, West Lothian, on March 17.

Bage appeared for sentence yesterday after earlier pleading guilty to acting in a racially aggravated manner.

Julia McLaren, prosecuting, said police heard the accused being abusive towards Mr Ikpeoha and told him to calm down.

He reacted by making the racist remark.

Iain Smith, defending, said Bage had been wrongly accused.

He said: “He was just walking past because he had taken a short cut. He accepts he was abusive.”

Sheriff Martin Edington told him: “This offence – like all of its kind – is a somewhat unpleasant offence.

“I think you’d benefit from some work on your attitude.”

He sentenced Bage to a nine-month community payback order yesterday.