A drunken fisherman has been jailed for racially abusing a black musician outside a pub where he was performing.

Christopher Sylvester launched an unprovoked tirade of abuse which left band member Leon Roach angry and upset.

Sylvester tried to pick a fight with Mr Roach and was aggressive towards staff at a pub in Appledore where he had been drinking with friends.

Mr Roach had been playing at The Champ and had gone for a walk on the quayside when he encountered Sylvester, who was drinking outside The Seagate.

Another drinker who was with Sylvester attracted Mr Roach's attention by shouting a Jamaican term of abuse and the musician went to talk to him.

They sorted out their differences but Sylvester then joined in, calling Mr Roach n*****r, w*g, and black c*** and telling him 'go home'.

Sylvester, aged 43, of Kala Fair, Westward Ho!, admitted racially aggravated threatening and abusive behaviour and breach of bail. He was jailed for a total of 31 weeks by Judge Peter Johnson at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him: "You were massively in drink and made derogatory, racist comments towards Mr Roach. He found them offensive and so did many members of the public who were nearby.

"You tried to minimise it when you told the police you only used something which you learned in Bristol Prison, but it went far beyond that in the racist terms you used."

Herc Ashworth, prosecuting, said Sylvester was drinking with friends outside the Seagate when one of them saw Mr Roach and shouted a Jamaican phrase Bumba Claat, which is considered a very offensive term of abuse in the Caribbean.

Mr Roach went over to speak to him and they sorted out their differences and shook hands, at which point Sylvester butted in and shouted his torrent of racist abuse.

Mr Ashworth said: "The abuse went on for 45 to 60 seconds. He walked towards Mr Roach, making gestures and saying 'let's have it'. Mr Roach went back to the Champ and called 999.

"Others spoke to him about his language and he said 'are you going to make me shut up?' A member of staff asked him to leave and he asked what he was going to do about it.

"Mr Roach said he felt angry and upset that the defendant had behaved in this way towards him because of the colour of his skin."

Sylvester failed to turn up for his trial in Exeter on July 1 and has been on the run ever since.

Mr Richard Crabb, defending, said Sylvester is a hard working lobster fisherman who operates his own boat out of Port Isaac and is a likeable and reliable person when he is not drinking.

He said: "Things did not go well for him that night. He was having a few beers with friends and he did not start this incident. Things escalated in a way which was totally inexcusable. He knows that."