A MAN who unleashed a torrent of racist abuse against a group of hotel guests has been blasted by magistrates for his 'bigoted, uneducated and stupid' behaviour.

Bernard Devlin, 67, was spared jail after he posted a video online showing him confronting a group of people he called 'Muslim migrants' outside Barrow's Holiday Inn.

The victims of the abuse were two doctors who told him they were visiting the town and were among a number of people who heard the abuse while stood outside the hotel.

The video caused uproar in the community, with one councillor describing the incident in August 2020 as 'sickening'.

The court heard Devlin and his family had faced abuse in the five months since the incident, while other relatives had 'shunned' him.

The defendant pleaded guilty to charges of racially or religiously aggravated harassment against Dr Yuvraj Kukreja and Dr Parag Duarah when he appeared at South Cumbria Magistrates' Court yesterday.

In the video he posted online that was shown in court, the defendant is seen pulling up to the hotel in his car before hurling abuse at the group.

He asked them 'where have you come from?', 'who's playing your rent?' and 'have you come over on a ship'?

He said: "I want to know what's going on in our town. You are Muslims and everything else.

"We don't want you in our town. This is a hotel for migrants. I'm going to get the lot of you out of this town."

Describing the incident, prosecutor George Shelley said: "The defendant got out of his vehicle and proceeded to film himself speaking to the group.

"The defendant's comments were perceived to be harassing and threatening to the group and were incorrect. They are neither migrants nor Muslims.

"Posting the video caused some uproar in the community with members of the public calling police to report this behaviour."

The prosecutor said Devlin had 10 previous convictions for 19 offences, with the last one coming for a public order offence in 2015.

The court heard Devlin had experienced significant abuse since posting the video, with the defendant only going out shopping at night to avoid being recognised having been spat at and abused in the street.

In mitigation, solicitor Trystan Roberts said: "When he saw the footage at the police station he was remorseful.

"He was shocked at what he had seen and he accepted what he had done was absolutely wrong.

"He said he made a grave error of judgement and has for the last five months being paying the price of it.

"He knows he has made a mistake and bitterly regrets it."

Magistrates, led by chair of the bench Charles Crewdson, sentenced Devlin, of Romney Road in Barrow, to a 16 week prison sentence, suspended for a year.

He will also serve a 5pm to 7am curfew for 16 weeks and pay £100 compensation to the two doctors.

Mr Crewdson told Devlin: "It's one of the most bigoted, uneducated and stupid things I have ever seen in my life.

"It was disgusting and a slur on this country we live in.

"There were young children listening and their parents listening and accepting it, not rising to your anger and dealing with it in an extremely mature way."

Magistrates said they had decided against an immediate prison sentence because of Devlin's age and the current situation with Covid-19.