A British National Party organiser has narrowly escaped jail for racially abusing an Asian woman in a supermarket.
Peter King told stunned Sajida Islam "go back to your own country" when he saw her in the aisles of Hartlepool's Tesco Extra store, in Burn Road. He followed with a tirade of racist abuse. In another unrelated incident he threatened a student with a medieval weapon in another outburst.
John Gillette, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, said: "He just passed an Asian lady in an aisle in the store and said 'get home to your own country'. It was just abuse out of nowhere, and left the victim upset. She contacted store security who in turn brought in police. Although the incident was not caught on CCTV he was seen leaving the store and was identified from that."
The incident happened on October 14 last year.
King, who the BNP's own website describes as regional organiser, was arrested again on Christmas Eve. Police were called following a row with his neighbour, 20-year-old student Nicholas Thompson, who he confronted with an ornamental mace for revving his mini-moto bike.
Mr Gillette said: "There had been an argument over some noise from a vehicle exhaust being revved and he went and got what is described as an ornamental medieval mace. The weapon had a wooden handle with a chain and a couple of metal balls."
King, 38, was at risk of going to jail after he admitted racially aggravated harassment and possessing an offensive weapon. However, he walked out of court after he was given a suspended prison term.
Nigel Herrmann, mitigating, said King, of Bluebell Way, Hartlepool, had experienced personal problems in the last year. He added there had been no further incidents since.
Judge Peter Bowers sentenced King to 10 months prison suspended for 18 months with supervision. He warned King to curb his temper in future. King was accompanied at court by Cheryl Dunn, who unsuccessfully ran for the BNP in the Hartlepool mayoral election and also in the Easington parliamentary election