A RACIST thug who told a takeaway delivery driver to "f*** off where you come from" before assaulting him is behind bars for what a judge said was carried out "simply because he was a foreigner".

Shaun Willans had been given a suspended prison sentence just two months before the foul-mouthed onslaught for his part in an ammonia attack with his brothers on another innocent man.

The 29-year-old personal trainer left his Syrian victim on crutches for three weeks after the assault in Dunoon Close, Stockton, as he tried to deliver food to an address there in September.

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Teesside Crown Court heard that he is now afraid while walking the streets, and has fears for his young twin daughters because he had done nothing to provoke Willans.

Reading an impact statement, the victim said: "I was very upset. I felt very unsafe. If I was to say 'hello' to someone, he might punch me in the face. I have not done anything wrong."

Prosecutor Harry Hadfield told the court that Willans was given a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, in July last year for an affray in 2014.

Along with his two brothers, he went to a house in Billingham bare-chested and armed with a baseball bat, tried to encourage a man to fight him, while another victim was squirted with a substance.

Outlining his most recent outburst of violence, Mr Hadfield said the delivery driver was at work when Willans blocked his way with his BMW, then asked him if he was English.

When the victim replied "no", his attacker responded with his foul-mouthed rant, punched him in the face, knocking off his spectacles, and kicked him in the leg.

Willans denied any wrong-doing but was convicted after a trial before magistrates, while Mr Hadfield said the incident had been witnessed by a 12-year-old girl.

The victim fled after the attack as his assailant shouted "run, you pussy", but took an image of the defendant's car number plate which helped with the prosecution.

Paul Abrahams, mitigating, told the court: "There is nothing I can advance to assist him with mitigation or about the offence, because he still denies it.

"His record, while poor, is improving to a degree. He has not been to prison before. He is a personal trainer, working at a gym, and now has a fiancée who is hard-working."

Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, QC, jailed Willans for a total of 16 months after telling him: "Anyone who racially abuses or assaults someone in the street will expect condign punishment."

Willans, of Norton Road, Stockton, was found guilty of racially-aggravated common assault, but was sent to the crown court because he was in breach of the suspended sentence.