A Cross Hills man racially abused a taxi driver following a night out drinking, Skipton magistrates heard on Friday.

John Smith, 46, tried to give the driver just half of the £12 fare home from Keighley, and when challenged, responded with racist language.

Smith, a ground worker, had been out shopping for Christ-mas clothes to Keighley Asda before being encouraged by a friend to go drinking.

He had drunk eight pints in just four hours, and at about 1.30am on December 14 in Cooke Street, Keighley, had got into the front seat of the taxi.

The driver described Smith as very drunk and mumbling all the way back to Cross Hills. At his Main Street home, he was told the fare was £12.30, but that £12 would do, before handing over just £6.

Smith, who admitted making off without paying and using racially aggravated abusive language, later told police he had been disgusted at his off-the -cuff comment.

In mitigation, John Mewies said Smith, whom the court heard had a previous conviction for assault in 2010, was a single, hard-working man.

Mr Mewies said Smith only had £6 on him, and instead of going into the house to get payment, had acted wrongly.

Magistrates fined Smith £280 and ordered him to pay £56 compensation to the taxi driver, including £50 for injury to his feelings, and £85 costs.