A MAN who hurled racist abuse at two cab drivers and spat in the face of a police officer has avoided jail after a court heard he had kept a promise to change his ways.

Ryan Mitchell, 25, had his sentence deferred earlier this year on two charges of racially-aggravated threatening behaviour, one of racially-aggravated criminal damage, and an offence of assaulting a police constable.

Prosecutor Martin Robertshaw told Bradford Crown Court that the offences arose from an incident on Christmas Eve last year in which a drunken Mitchell confronted Zulfiqar Ahmed, 56, and his 29-year-old son, who were both taxi drivers in the city.

He was said to have shouted a "tirade of unpleasant racist abuse" at the pair, including calling them "members of ISIS".

Mitchell also caused £250 of damage to Mr Ahmed's taxi and threw a glass bottle at the complainants.

Mr Robertshaw said that when Mitchell was detained, he continued his racist abuse before spitting in the face of one of the officers arresting him.

At a previous hearing, when Mitchell received a community order for an offence of battery, he was given a string of conditions to be met in recognition of the sentence for the outstanding matters being deferred.

The court heard he had completed his full allocation of rehabilitation requirement days and unpaid work, as well as committing no further offences and attending support sessions for drug and alcohol misuse.

Soheil Khan, mitigating, said that by complying with the terms of the order, Mitchell, of Miles Hill Crescent, Bierley, Bradford, had "kept his promise".

Mr Khan said: "He has taken his opportunity with both hands. There is no racist streak in him. It is when he gets drunk that he starts uttering such stupid things."

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC, said Mitchell had engaged in "thuggish, drunken" behaviour that he was now moving away from.

On the terms of the previous order, he said: "I thought you would probably fail, but my goodness, you haven't. This is a wholly exceptional situation, but you have impressed the probation service. You are a caring parent for your children and you want to set an example to them."

Mitchell was given a 15-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was ordered to pay £250 in compensation to Mr Ahmed and complete a further 24 rehabilitation requirement days.

Judge Durham Hall told him: "The Asian community will be served if you turn a corner and stay out of trouble. If you are back here in the next two years, then we start at 15 months."