A MUSSELBURGH shopkeeper was kicked in the face and repeatedly punched in a racist attack at his store.

Craig Douglas launched the savage attack on Ilhan Ahmedov outside the man’s newsagents store on the town’s Eskview Terrace earlier this year.

Douglas appeared at the small family-run shop with another man after consuming alcohol and taking Valium and began hurling racist abuse at Mr Ahmedov.

Douglas, 24, asked the shopkeeper for alcohol but when told the shop did not have a licence he shouted racist slurs.

He was heard shouting: “We are Scottish – who are you?” at the stunned shop owner.

Both men were then asked to leave the premises and Mr Ahmedov pressed the shop’s panic alarm before managing to usher both men from the store.

But once outside, Douglas repeatedly punched the shop owner as he was “cowering in the doorway” of the shop.

Mr Ahmedov was viciously kicked to the face before being punched again and it took a passing motorist to pull over and intervene for the attack to stop.

Mr Ahmedov was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary following the attack, where it was found he had suffered a broken cheekbone and nose, as well as cuts and bruises to his face.

Both men had run from the scene and police were called in to search for them.

Douglas was then apprehended and he pleaded guilty to the attack when he appeared in the dock from custody at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last Thursday.

The court was told the attack took place at about 8pm on August 10 and that Douglas, a labourer with a local building firm, had taken an excess of alcohol and Valium beforehand.

Solicitor Colm Dempsey, defending, said his client suffered from “substance abuse” and was due to become a father for the first time in February.

Mr Dempsey said that Douglas’s partner had “felt very let down” by his violent actions but that he had “accepted full responsibility” for the offence, despite having “no real recollection of events”.

The solicitor also informed the court that Douglas had been on a supervised release order at the time of the attack from a previous incident.

Sheriff Nigel Ross told Douglas: “We have been here before. There is no alternative to custody as this was a violent assault on a shopkeeper who was going about his business.”

Sheriff Ross jailed Douglas for 18 months.

Douglas pleaded guilty to assaulting Ilhan Ahmedov by repeatedly punching him on the head and body and to kicking him to the head, all to his severe injury, at Monktonhall Newsagents, Eskview Terrace, Musselburgh, on August 10.