A thug launched a racist attack on a mother who was eating food with her children at a McDonald’s restaurant.

Daniel John Ward, 30, appeared before Carlisle’s magistrates’ court on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to the charge of racially/religiously aggravated common assault.

Describing the attack in Carlisle on June 19, Beth Pilling, prosecuting, said: “This is a racially aggravated assault within McDonald’s.

“The complainant was eating with her children when the defendant came over and talked to her.

“She couldn’t understand what he was saying.”

It was then that Ward, of South Western Terrace, Currock, Carlisle, spat in the face of the mother and began to racially abuse her.

“Her niece couldn’t believe what was happening and began to take photos of him,” Miss Pilling told the court. “They were very shaken.

“Her children started to cry. She did not expect something like this to happen when she took her children for some food.”

The prosecutor continued: “The defendant says she is used to having things said to her, but that she is unable to forget about this. It makes her think twice about doing simple tasks now.”

The victim had previously lived in the UK between 2006 and 2008, and has lived here continuously since 2014, the court was told.

John Smith, defending, said: “I would hope this is something you can deal with in this court.

“Spitting is not a nice thing to deal with, but it is not a weapon. It is always going to be unpleasant, but there is no attempt to cause serious injury. There isn’t any significant injury.”

The court heard how Ward had five previous convictions for eight offences.

He was given a community order which included a 12-week curfew and a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Ward was also ordered to pay £100 in compensation to the victim, an £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.