A BLACK man cycling on a road in Taunton was subjected to a volley of racist remarks and then attacked by a gang of young people, Taunton Crown Court heard.

One of the group, marquee constructor Jason Paul Higgins, 20, from Martock, was this week jailed for 18 months for his part in the incident.

The victim escaped with minor injuries after being set on at Firepool Lock during the incident in September last year.

The court was told that a male or female made most of the racist remarks before the group chased the victim and attacked him.

Higgins, who had been found guilty last month of racially aggravated assault, went behind him and held him round the neck.

In mitigation, it was claimed that there was no evidence that Higgins, who said the victim bit his hand during the incident, made any racist remarks.

The court also heard that Higgins, who has spent much of his life in car and B&B accommodation, was not among the group who chased the victim when he got away.

Judge Graham Hume Jones sentenced Higgins, whose partner recently given birth to their son, to 12 months for assault and added a further six months for the racist element.

The judge said: “It may be that you weren’t the person who used the racist abuse.

“However, a racist assault can be carried out without using racist abuse.

“Fortunately the victim’s injuries weren’t particularly serious.

“However it must have been extremely frightening for him.”