AN Alva man has avoided jail for launching a vicious torrent of racist abuse at a Sky call centre worker - in which he told his victim to "go home and take your disease with you".

Steven MacGregor (39) had phoned the satellite TV company to cancel services on his partner's account when he became enraged with the call handler's questions.

He appeared in Alloa Sheriff Court on Thursday for acting in a racially aggravated manner which caused or was intended to cause alarm and distress by swearing and making abusive and racial remarks on 11 September last year at a property in Tenacres, Sauchie. He pled guilty to the offence.

Fiscal depute Ann Orr told the court how MacGregor had begun verbally abusing the worker during the conversation, in a truly despicable rant.

She explained that during the call - which was recorded in its entirety - he said, "You're not from Britain are you? I do not want you to spread your disease to my people. Go home and take your disease with you.

"Have some damn respect for this country. I don't respect you. I'm British. We rule you. I don't have to respect you. Typical immigrant coming here, stealing our jobs. I don't like you. You're a bloody from front page immigrant. Put me on to a British person. What's your postcode and I'll grass you to the f***ing border agency and get you deported for being a bloody immigrant stealing British jobs. Are you black?" The call handler transferred the call to his supervisor and later reported the incident to police.

This led to MacGregor, of Queen Street, being traced and identified as the caller.

Defending Jim Savage said his client acknowledges his behaviour was without justification and was "entirely unacceptable".

He added that the problem was one of anger management, saying it was clear he was on an "extremely short fuse".

Mr Savage explained, "He acknowledges this is a serious matter for him. He is attempting to address this through anger management".

Sheriff David Mackie said that in such circumstances, he had to consider sending MacGregor to jail, although he opted not to do so.

However, MacGregor will still pay a price for his vile actions after he was sentenced to a community payback order of 200 hours unpaid work and a supervision requirement of 18 months.

When contacted by the Advertiser, a leading Scottish anti-racism group expressed dismay that his conduct was attributed purely to his temper.

However, Jatin Haria, Executive Director of the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights, did applaud Sky for taking the shocking abuse of one of their employees so seriously.

Mr Haria said, "This is a serious case of racist verbal abuse, and we are concerned that the accused sees it as an 'anger management' issue rather than a racial issue. So, apart from addressing his issues of anger management he needs to do something to change his racist views as well.

"We welcome the fact that Sky reported this to the police and that the police took action to identify and charge the perpetrator.

"Being racially abused on the phone is as bad as face-to-face abuse and and no call centre worker should be subject to this sort of behaviour."