A FORMER soldier has been fined more than £3,000 for racially abusing door staff and assaulting a police officer. Huntingdon Magistrates Court was told that Nick Payne, of Leys Road, St Neots, had mistaken believed a man with a tanned complexion was of

A FORMER soldier has been fined more than £3,000 for racially abusing door staff and assaulting a police officer.

Huntingdon Magistrates' Court was told that Nick Payne, of Leys Road, St Neots, had mistaken believed a man with a tanned complexion was of Asian descent.

Payne, who served as a soldier in Afghanistan, abused the man who was working as a member of staff at The Priory in St Neots.

The 22-year-old also assaulted a police officer when he was arrested outside the town centre pub on August 9.

Despite several warnings from police, Payne continued to shout and make threats.

In court on Wednesday (August 19) Payne admitted a racially aggravated public order offence and assaulting a police officer.

In addition to a fine of £2,700 for racist abuse, he was ordered to pay a further £200 for the assault on police, £50 in compensation to the officer, £60 court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Payne denied being a racist when he was interviewed by police officer and was said to have been deeply ashamed of the language he used.

Inspector Mark Greenhalgh, sector inspector for St Neots, told The Hunts Post: "This hefty fine is a warning to the town's drinkers that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated and will be taken very seriously by police.