A man launched a vicious “racially aggravated” attack on a grandfather just a matter of weeks after committing an assault.

Thomas Turner, 23, of Diamond Street, Leigh, attacked his victim, a 60-year-old man of Asian heritage, while drunk and causing trouble in the man’s shop on January 25, 2021.

Bolton Crown Court heard how he shouted deeply offensive racial terms at the man and at another man of Asian heritage who was using the petrol station near the shop on Crompton Way, Bolton.

John Richards, prosecuting, said: “He shouted ‘it’s two against one, your going to be first and he’ indicating to an Asian man who had arrived at the petrol station, ‘is going to be next.”

Mr Richards told the court how Turner was dressed in a hi-vis jacket and wielding a stop sign when he attacked the now 60-year-old shop owner.

Leigh Journal: The case was heard at Bolton Crown CourtThe case was heard at Bolton Crown Court (Image: Newsquest)

The victim was left with teeth implants, difficulty sleeping and problems with his memory, while he was also left distrustful of strangers and felt unable to take his grandchildren to the park as he had done before.

But Mr Richards also told the court that on December 14 2020, just over a month previous, Turner had attacked another man, this time a relative of his, at a house in Leigh.

Turner punched the man, grabbed him and pulled him into the garden and punched him again before finally running off when neighbours arrived.

Mr Richards said: “In his interview, he admitting to drinking half-a-litre of vodka and described himself as being tipsy.”

Turner, who has four previous convictions for nine previous offences one of them for racially aggravated common assault, eventually pleaded guilty to assault and racially aggravated grievous bodily harm.

Tom Watson, defending, argued that Turner was entitled to credit for having pleaded guilty but added that unlike many defendants in similar positions the 23-year-old had shown true remorse for his actions.

He said: “He knows that apologies can be rather shallow but he offers his sincere apologies to both of his victims who he knows did nothing to bring about his outrageous violent offending.”

Mr Watson said that Turner had become an “increasingly violent young man” after his troubled childhood and that to an extent his drinking had been to “forget the past".

He told the court that the young defendant had been working to turn his life around while in prison and had been doing courses to that effect.

He said: “This is a young man who can make these changes.”

But Judge Nicholas Clarke KC reminded the court of the effect Turner had had on his victims.

Speaking about the 60-year-old, he said: “He fears he can no longer trust strangers and there has clearly been a loss of his independence.”

Addressing the defendant, he added: “You became an angry, violent young man with a loss of temper resulting from any kinds of social interactions.”

He also noted that this was the young man’s second racially aggravated offence.

Judge Clarke sentenced Turner to a total of five years and four months in prison.