A racist shopper who urged a supermarket worker to “shove the Koran up your a**e” and then tugged on his beard was branded a disgrace by a district judge.
The appalling abuse was hurled at Tesco security guard Zubair Afzal after he questioned whether Gavin Totton had paid for some nappies.
The attack, which saw the father-of-three pull on Mr Afzal’s “silly” beard and rant that he didn’t belong in this country, forced him to leave his job of two years at the Huddersfield town centre store.
Totton, 29, denied racially-aggravated common assault but was found guilty after a trial he failed to show up for.
The incident at the Viaduct Street shop happened on January 10 when Totton and his partner were shopping there.
Mr Afzal observed them going to the self-service checkouts where they paid for their goods but missed a packet of nappies left on their pram.
When Mr Afzal pointed this out to them, Totton’s partner appeared shocked and went to pay for the goods.
However Totton lost his temper, prosecutor Jill Seddon told Kirklees Magistrates’ Court .
She said: “He called him a s**t security guard, making him out to be a thief.
“Mr Afzal said he called for the manager and Totton was asked to leave the store.
“His arms flailed up and he said: ’Shove the Koran up your a**e’ and: ‘You don’t belong here. Go back to your own country.’
“The defendant then stuck out his hand, pulled on his chin and beard and said: ‘What’s this silly thing on your face?’”
Mr Afzal, who had worked at the store since 2015, said that because of the incident he felt forced to move to another store which was further away and offered him less hours.
Mrs Seddon said: “He was shocked and saddened by what happened as he was just doing his job and felt that he was abused because of his faith.”
Totton, of Leeds Road, Huddersfield, denied the offence but was convicted following a trial during which Mr Afzal and his colleague gave evidence and a warrant was then issued for his arrest.
The court hard that jobless Totton smoked cannabis daily but was unwilling to address this habit as he didn’t see it as a problem.
He also showed little empathy towards his victim or regard for the impact his behaviour had on him.
District Judge Michael Fanning told him: “To walk up to someone and who is obviously of a different ethnic background and religion, pull their beard and tell them to stick the Koran up their a**e is pretty disgraceful.
“Comments and behaviour such as this has to stop and it will only stop if people realise that there is a consequence of doing something as foolish as this.”
Totton was sentenced to eight weeks in custody suspended for a year.
He must complete 16 days of rehabilitation activities, to include the Think Again programme aimed at addressing hate-based offending.
Judge Fanning also ordered him to pay £400 court costs and £115 compensation to Mr Afzal,