A MAN racially abused a female petrol station worker when he went into the shop drunk at 7.55am.

Blackburn magistrates heard at one stage Peter Hung tried to get through the security door leading behind the counter but the assistant managed to close it against him.

Hung, 38, of Leven Grove, Darwen, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated threatening behaviour. He was remanded on bail for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Sajeeda Ismail, prosecuting, said Sarah Akhtar was working at the Esso garage on Bolton Road when Hung came in early in the morning.

He bought some items and started shouting but she was unaware of what he was saying because he was wearing a mask and appeared drunk.

He left but returned five minutes later and made threats towards a customer who quickly left the shop.

"Miss Akhtar asked him to leave or she would call the police and when one of her colleagues arrived on the scene he complied," said Miss Ismail.

"As soon as the colleague left he returned and started swearing and making racist comments to Miss Akhtar."

Hung knocked over a display rack and lunged at the counter door but Miss Akhtar managed to lock it.

Another employee attended and dragged Hung out of the shop while Miss Akhtar called the police.

"She said she was shocked to receive racist abuse because this had never happened before," said Miss Ismail.

Gareth Price, defending, said the incident was in March at which time his client was in an especially toxic relationship.

"He and his then partner had their own difficulties and both ended up abusing alcohol," said Mr Price.

"He accepts they had been up all night drinking prior to him going to the petrol station."

Mr Price said the assistant was known to his client's partner and there was an exchange of words.

"He accepts he pushed over the display stand but CCTV shows him going to the counter but he did not try and climb over it," said Mr Price.

"He accepts his behaviour would have been distressing."

Mr Price said his client was no longer in the relationship, had reduced his alcohol intake and was looking for other ways to occupy his time.