A man who used racist language towards two members of staff at a Mold convenience store claimed he was not a racist.

But a judge told him he had behaved like a racist and imposed a suspended prison sentence.

David Stuart Harries, 27, of Queen’s Park in Mold, originally denied a racially aggravated public order offence but when the shop CCTV, complete with audio, was produced he changed his plea to guilty.

Appearing at Flintshire Magistrates Court, he received a 16 week prison sentence, suspended for a year, and was ordered to carry out 180 hours unpaid work and pay £400 costs.

He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to each of his two victims, Nadarajah Premakumar and Kovindasamy Nithiyaseelan, following the incident last April.

District judge Gwyn Jones made a restraining order under which for the next four years he is not to approach the or enter Best One MNS store in Elm Drive, Mold.

The judge said he directed his aggressive and venom against the victims who were providing a valuable service to the community.

“You displayed what can only be described as both ignorant and offensive comments.”

The judge said most people valued the benefit of diversity “and all the diverse language that we all use”.

However Harries had taken exception to them using their own language, taking issue with their right to do so.

He had made offensive comments but denied being a racist.

“But it is quite clear you were racist when those comments were directed at staff members,” said the judge.

Prosecutor Rhian Jackson said Harries appeared to have been arguing with someone off his own phone and then referred to the staff members saying “they are talking in their own language”.

He made racial comments and shouted towards them that they were in the UK and should talk English.

When they said they were speaking in their own language, he used a derogatory racial term and threatened to punch one of them in the mouth.

He warned that speaking in a foreign language “in front of English people around her will get you hurt”.

Harries added: “It’s like me speaking in Welsh in front of you. You are in England now.”

He said he knew loads of people “who would do this place over”.

Simon Simmons, defending, said Harries lost his job as a result of the incident.

The offence was last April and a lot had changed since then.

He had spent time in custody – which had done him a lot of good – and he was now a different person.

At the time he was going through a bad patch, said Mr Simmons.

He was drinking too much, his grandmother had died and he was taking a lot of cannabis.

But he was now not using drugs, he was not drinking and he had co-operated with his licence.

He had since been to the store and spoken to the complainants.

It would never happen again.