A MAN who racially abused a security officer after being caught stealing claimed in court he had been misheard.

Blackburn magistrates heard Gary Leatherd had racially abused the security officer on two occasions but in court he claimed he had told the guard he had a "Karpackie" a type of Polish lager.

He was convicted of two charges of racially aggravated threatening behaviour after the magistrates heard evidence from three people who had heard the insult.

At a sentencing hearing Leatherd, 48, of no fixed address, also pleaded guilty to assaulting his nephew, James Leatherd. He was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months with an alcohol treatment requirement.

He was ordered to pay £200 compensation to the security guard, £200 costs and £115 victim surcharge. He was made subject to a restraining order prohibited him from having any contact with James Leathered for 12 months and an exclusion order from The Mall shopping centre in Blackburn for six months.

Imposing the sentence District Judge James Clarke said he would be reviewing compliance with the orders on a monthly basis and any breaches or lack of compliance could result in custody.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said the racist incidents happened when Leatherd was seen stealing first in Marks and Spencer in Blackburn and later in Wilko.

On both occasions he was removed from the store and as he left turned and made the racist comments.

The assault on his nephew happened when the younger man went to visit his grandad. His uncle was already at the property and was clearly drunk.

Leatherd went into the kitchen and returned with a knife in his hand.

"He said he would stab him and then threw the knife at him," said Mrs Yates.

"It missed narrowly and then embedded itself in the wooden door frame.

"When the police arrived that is where they found the knife."