A shoplifter has been sentenced by magistrates for racially abusing two members of staff at a Hove supermarket.
Robert Lonsdale, 34, Somerhill Avenue, Hove, was caught stealing goods worth almost £75 from the Co-op, in Western Road, Hove.
When he was challenged at the checkout by members of staff, Lonsdale was verbally abusive and grabbed a security guard by the chest, before being restrained, Sussex Police said.
Lonsdale pleaded guilty to theft and two counts of intentional harassment, alarm and distress when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.
The harassment, aimed at Billy Turker and Simon Binns, was found by the court to have been racially aggravated.
He was given a community order, requiring him to carry out up to 35 days of rehabilitation activity, and ordered to pay costs of £85 and an £85 victim surcharge.
Sussex Police hate crime sergeant Peter Allan said: “I am pleased with the sentence imposed by the court in this case.
“No one should be targeted in such a personal and public way because of who they are.
“This sentence sends out a clear signal that we will take a robust approach to those who target individuals based on their disability, gender identity, race, religion or sexual orientation.
“I hope this case will encourage other victims of hate to report such behaviour to the police.”