A FORMER teacher has been jailed for shouting racist abuse at a rail inspector who asked to see his ticket.

Blackburn magistrates heard Stephen Paul Dugdale repeated the abuse when the collector was joined by the conductor.

And the court was told Dugdale had numerous previous conviction for racial offences.

Dugdale, of Hartley Street, Burnley, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated threatening behaviour towards Abdirizak Abdullahi. He was jailed for 16 weeks and ordered to pay £115 victim surcharge.

Sentencing Dugdale, 59, the chairman of the magistrates said it had been an “appalling” incident.

“The gentleman in question was simply doing his job and did not deserve to be spoken to like that,” he said.

“You have a record of similar offences which does you no credit at all.”

Andy Robinson, prosecuting, said Dugdale got on the Manchester to Clitheroe train at Darwen and stood by the door. When he was asked for his ticket he shook his head and when he was asked again began swearing at the ticket collector using racist language.

“He raised his voice so other passengers could hear and he was being very abusive towards the railway employee,” said Mr Robinson.

“A witness said the member of staff was totally professional throughout the incident.”

Dugdale was ordered off the train at Blackburn but a photograph had been taken and police were able to identify him from that.

Jonathan Taylor, defending, said his client was extremely ashamed of his behaviour.

“He had far too much to drink and has to accept he became a nuisance,” said Mr Taylor.

“He can’t remember the exact words used but he knows he became embroiled in a dispute and things became unpleasant. He agrees with the witness that people should not be exposed to that kind of behaviour.”

Mr Taylor said Dugdale had once been a respected member of the community working as a school teacher.

“His first conviction was for driving with excess alcohol and things have just spiralled out of control as alcohol took a grip of his life,” said Mr Taylor.