A MAN who beat up an Asian taxi driver in an alcohol-fuelled "brutal and racist" attack has escaped a prison sentence.

Thirty-one-year-old Gethin Evans drunk eight pints of lager on a night out with his girlfriend, then proceeded to "hammer blows" on the taxi driver because he was driving the "wrong way" to Evans' home, a court heard.

Evans, of Medway Road, Newtown, Worcester, left Abdul Jabbar "terrified and defenceless" in the verbally racist and violent physical attack, said prosecuting solicitor Kiernan Cunningham.

He screamed a string of racist insults at Mr Jabbar, before leaving the taxi, walking to the driver's open window and punching him more than 10 times in the face.

He then tried to drag the driver out of the taxi through the window, said Mr Cunningham, at Worcester Magistrates' Court yesterday.

"Mr Jabbar said he was terrified throughout the ordeal and feared he would come to serious harm," added Mr Cunningham.

"He said could not have stopped it if he had tried."

Mr Jabbar suffered a broken tooth, a cut above his eye, cut lips, bruising across his face, and internal injuries in his mouth, during the attack.

At a previous hearing, Evans pleaded guilty to the attack, which took place at around midnight on Sunday, August 24, last year, after the taxi had picked the couple up at Worcester's Cornmarket.

Barry Newton, defending, said that Evans was not "innately racist" and became a different person when he had too much to drink.

He said his client was "fundamentally a good man" and worked hard as a full-time construction worker.

He pleaded with the magistrates not to jail Evans, saying it would have a "devastating effect" on his eight-year-old daughter from a previous relationship and the three children belonging to his current partner.

"He has been living under the shadow of a risk of imprisonment and that has not been lost on him," said Mr Newton.

"He risks losing his employment and will sit idle in a prison cell."

The magistrates spared Evans the six-month custodial sentence he could have been handed for his crime.

Instead, he was sentenced to an 18-month probation service order, 100 hours community service, and ordered to pay £178 in prosecution costs and £500 compensation to his victim.