A man has been jailed for 18 months over a racist outburst during a violent robbery at a Co-op in Slough.

Scott Francis, 21, from Colnbrook, robbed the store in Trelawney Avenue on February 13 this year.

When an employee intervened to stop him, the defendant repeatedly punched him, before hurling racial abuse at staff.

Police arrested him shortly after the incident, but he continued to act out.

Last week, prosecuting barrister Erin McKee told Reading Crown Court that Francis' conduct towards the police was violent.

She remarked:  "As he was detained by [a police officer] ... the defendant lunged towards his head."

Francis used slurs towards officers, and ranted about immigration as he was driven to Maidenhead police station.

The court heard that Francis had little recollection of the night in question.

Mrs McKee said: "Mr Francis does not remember going into the Co-op that night."

However, he told police that he frequently stole from the same shop.

The defendant - who has been on remand since the incident - has expressed remorse over his conduct.

At an earlier hearing, he pleaded guilty to racially-aggravated common assault, inflicting grievous bodily harm, racially-aggravated wounding, assault on an emergency worker, using threatening or insulting words or behaviour, racially-aggravated harassment and two counts of assault by beating.

All these were in connection with the incident in February.

Defence barrister Gabriella Lewis said: "He [Francis] would like to apologise to the victims of these offences, the families of the victims, and anyone else who witnessed it.

"He is sorry, and, at the time, he was in a very difficult situation. He was living in a van, he was not getting on with his family, and he was really struggling."

At a sentencing hearing today (June 11), Judge Sarah Campbell acknowledged Francis' difficult personal situation at the time of the offending.

She said: "But I'm afraid that really provides no excuse for your appalling behaviour."

The judge noted Francis' history of drug and alcohol abuse, which he previously cited as a factor in his offending.

Since his imprisonment, he has undertaken rehabilitation activities - and Judge Campbell assessed his remorse to be genuine.

She said: "I understand that you are remorseful. I understand you have used your time in custody well."

With all this taken into account, the judge jailed Francis for a further 18 months.

He will serve half this sentence on licence.