A ST ASAPH man hurled racist abuse at a man simply because of his colour, a judge has said.

Darren Jason O’Brien, 47, picked up pebbles, then a brick and then a rock and hurled them at his victim who had simply been walking to work.

He hurled foul racist names towards him including the N word and it was alleged that he told him to return to the cotton fields, although O’Brien denied saying that.

O’Brien, of Gemig Street in St Asaph, admitted racially aggravated assault and a racially aggravated public order offence.

A judge told him that it had to be custody as a deterrent to others.

Judge Niclas Parry said that a decent, hard-working man walking to work had been subjected to nothing other than “disgusting and gratuitous racial verbal abuse”.

It had been a continued, repeated and sustained verbal attack, he said.

The defendant’s own partner sensibly tried to persuade him to stop but he ignored her, continued with his abuse and it escalated when he began hurling stones at the victim – first chippings, then a brick and then a larger rock.

Others witnessed what was going on.

“All this happened because your victim was black,” said Judge Parry, who described it as sickening.

The courts would do all they could to support those striving for a more tolerant and inclusive society, he said.

References showed that they were a positive side to the defendant’s character and he would be given credit for his guilty pleas.

O’Brien was jailed for eight months.

The judge said that the sentence had to be immediate.

“This kind of sickening behaviour must be deterred,” he said.

A five-year restraining order was made under which he must not contact the victim in future.

Prosecutor David Mainstone said that the victim worked as a carer and was walking to work in St Asaph on September 20 when the defendant hurled racial abuse at him.

He was shocked and embarrassed but continued on his way and did not react. But the defendant followed and continued to shout at him.

The defendant also said “watch what happens when you walk this way again”.

Mr Mainstone said the victim was shaking with anger, went to work, then went to the shop to get some goods, but as a precaution arranged for him to be filmed on an iPad.

He hoped nothing would happen but feared it would, and the defendant was again abusive towards him and threw pebbles, then a brick and then a rock saying he was going to damage his car.

O’Brien ran aggressively at him with the brick.

He was struck to the back but not injured.

A neighbour called the police and the defendant tried to claim that he had been the victim of racist abuse.

The victim told how it had been a relief when the defendant had been remanded in custody and felt more at ease walking around his home town.

He said he had previously had issues with the defendant which was why he felt he had to have the latest incident filmed.

There was “a strong vein of racial hatred running” through the defendant, he said.

O’Brien had a previous conviction for a racially aggravated public order offence.

Defending barrister Matthew Curtis said that the defendant was concerned that the effect of the incident on his own family.

He said that there was a background to what had happened.

The defendant did regret his language and bad behaviour and knew that he had let down himself and his family.

He was suitable for anger management and thinking skills courses in the community.

Such work had started while in custody and he knew it was something he had to do.

References showed another side to him and he was described as loyal and a doting father.

Mr Curtis asked that the court consider a suspended sentence or, if not, the shortest sentence in line with its public duty.