A RACIST and his thug friend dramatically changed their pleas midway through their trial, when the prosecution confronted them with their Facebook boasts.

Jack Alan Hunter, 21, and Thomas Henry Chapman, 23, posted with pride about the way they treated staff at the Turkish-owned Micklegate Takeaway in the early hours, York Crown Court was told.

The jury heard how Hunter had taunted staff with racist comments, while he and his friend waited for their pizza order to be cooked. After their group was asked to leave for kicking pizza around the floor and other bad behaviour, Hunter pushed Haydar Hazar and Chapman suddenly and without warning had punched him in the mouth, breaking three of his teeth.

Mr Hazar and his brother Hassan had to go through the ordeal of giving evidence because both customers denied charges. During nearly a full day in the witness box, Haydar Hazar faced defence allegations that he and other staff had made up lies about racist taunts and that he had broken Hunter's teeth.

But on Day Three of the trial, carpenter Hunter, of Thirlby, Thirsk, changed his plea to guilty on a charge of racially aggravated assault of Haydar Hazar. He told a probation officer the words he used were normal in his social circle and was given an eight-week prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Chapman, a plumber, of Topcliffe, Thirsk, changed his plea to guilty on a charge of causing actual bodily harm to Haydar Hazar and was given a 14-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to pay £1,000 compensation to Haydar Hazar.

Both men were ordered to do 250 hours' unpaid work, observe a six-month nightly curfew between 8pm and 5am and pay £750 prosecution costs.

"The witnesses describe your group as looking for trouble before the food had been ordered," said Recorder Mark McKone who added that both had behaved "disgracefully". Hunter was the main instigator. Both had previous convictions for violence and Chapman was on a suspended sentence at the time.

The prosecution offered no evidence on alternative charges against each man.

For Hunter, Laura Addy made allegations about the Hazar family's behaviour in a city centre shop following the guilty pleas. Hunter had himself been injured on the night of the offences, she said.

Both men told a probation officer they had been in drink when they went to the takeaway on December 6, 2014, and that both had full-time jobs.