The 34-year-old appeared in North Devon Magistrates’ Court, pleading guilty to a charge of racially aggravated harrasment.

A man from Ilfracombe who threatened a hotel and restaurant manager with a hammer has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Paul Stephen Smith of Cambridge Grove, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated harassment at North Devon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

The court heard that the 34-year-old had approached the victim on the evening of July 8, at the rear of the business in Fore Street, where he was outside with colleagues and his partner.

Lyndsey Baker, prosecuting, said Smith, who brought his dog with him, threatened to kill the man before brandishing a large hammer.

He threatened the man again before racially abusing him, making reference to his country of birth and saying ‘you’re not even from this country’.

The court heard that the victim had been left scared for his and his girlfriend’s life as a result of the incident.

CCTV footage of the confrontation, which lasted more than four minutes, was shown at the hearing.

Paul Waters, who defended Smith, said: “This is a situation that there was an issue with regards to his 20-year-old son, who had been working at the establishment.

“There are differing reports to exactly what was said, words are difficult to pin down.

“It was a disturbing offence, but it’s clear he has shown remorse and he has expressed himself to be remorseful.

“He was concerned about his son, and that was inflamed by drink.

“He says he had no intention of carrying any of the threats out.

“This is a matter which is out of character as far as he’s concerned.”

Mr Smith was given a 26-week custodial sentence, which was suspended for two years.

In addition, the defendant was ordered to undertake a 12-month community order, with 150 hours of unpaid work.

Mr Smith was also given a £400 fine, of which £200 is to go to the victim.