A DRUNK man racially abused an Asian shopkeeper after asking him as a 'joke' if he was grooming a 15-year-old girl, Greenock Sheriff Court was told.

Michael Orr verbally insulted the man in the Munchees takeaway shop on Nicolson Street by swearing and referring in derogatory terms to his ethnicity.

Orr, 53 — who waited until the day he was due to stand trial before finally pleading guilty — had been boozing heavily on top of prescription medication.

The court heard how he went into the shop and asked the man during a conversation how old the girl was.

After being told, he said: "Does she look 15 to you? Are you grooming her?"

Orr, of Blairmore Road, then made the racial slur and 'continued to shout' despite being asked to leave the shop, the court was told.

Prosecutor Tanjeel Maleque said: "The witness noticed that the accused was under the influence of alcohol at the time.

"Police were contacted and attended and officers were passed a description of the accused.

"He was located within the Green Oak Bar.

"The accused stated to officers, 'Is this about what happened in the takeaway shop?'.

"He made no reply when cautioned and charged."

Orr committed the offence at around 8.30pm on July 28.

Defence lawyer Ellen Macdonald said that Orr was 'deeply embarrassed' by the way he behaved.

Ms Macdonald added: "He had been out for a friend's birthday and he drank to excess on top of prescribed anti-depressant medication.

"He made a remark jokingly about the girl's age and grooming.

"He has written a letter of apology to the complainer."

Sheriff Colin Pettigrew noted that Orr's record of previous convictions runs to three pages, although his last offence was six years ago.

He fined him £400.