An Express Gifts employee who racially abused a security guard after being caught stealing has avoided jail for a second time.

Joshua Rivers was leaving the direct mail order business in Church when he was confronted by security staff who asked him to empty his pockets, a court heard.

The 28-year-old ‘immediately became aggressive and racially abusive’ and ‘lunged’ towards one of the staff before being restrained.

Burnley Crown Court heard during the struggle a wallet, perfume and a mobile phone totalling £135 fell out of his pockets which had been stolen from the firm.

Rivers pleaded guilty to theft and a racially aggravated public order offence and was originally given an 18-month community order with supervision and mental health treatment requirements.

However the defendant has now been re-sentenced at the request of the probation service after ‘failing to comply’ with the requirements of the order since January this year. He was given a six-month suspended jail sentence and a four-week curfew.

Kimberley Obrusik, prosecuting, told the court: “The probation service effectively say that there has been continued failure to comply.

“His attitude has been poor, disengaged and disrespectful.

“The order is, the probation service say, unworkable and has been for some time, albeit there has been no further offences committed by the defendant.

“The probation service are of the view that they can be of no further assistance to this defendant.”

Miss Obrusik said the theft and racial abuse incident happened in December 2014.

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She said: “When he was leaving work three security guards stopped him and asked him to empty his pockets. He immediately became aggressive and racially abusive.

“In fact he lunged towards the victim who believed he was about to be head-butted and as a result two of the other security staff had to restrain him.”

Neil Howard, defending, said Rivers, of Cobourg Close, Blackburn, ‘buried his head in the sand and ignored the order’.

He told the court: “Clearly Mr Rivers appreciates the precarious position he places himself in.

He did start off relatively well and there was some positive aspects to it. The difficulty comes when breaks a bone in his leg and then there was a breakdown of a relationship with his partner.”