A MAN shouted racist abuse at his Irish neighbour when she complained about loud noise during the night.

Blackburn magistrates heard Geoff Picking called her an IRA terrorist and an "Irish bitch" and told her to get back to her own country.

Picking, 63, of Didsbury Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault. He was made subject to a community order for 12 months with 100 hours unpaid work. He was ordered to pay £100 compensation, £85 costs and £95 victim surcharge.

Janice Vallance, prosecuting, said having been kept awake by the noise the victim approached Picking and politely asked him to keep the noise down.

"He became aggressive and racially abusive towards her," said Miss Vallance. "He put his fists towards her face and at that point she thought she was going to be assaulted."

Miss Vallance said other people who were present intervened and ushered Picking away.

"She was extremely distressed by the incident," said Miss Vallance. "A short time after he attended at her address to apologise but he was sent away."

Miss Vallance said Picking had a relevant conviction for racially aggravated assault in 2018.

Richard Prew, defending, said his client was thoroughly ashamed of his behaviour.

"He wishes to apologise to the victim for his behaviour," said Mrs Prew.

He said Picking was hoping to move away from the address when he has been resident for 12 months which was not long off.