A PAIR of thugs dressed up like members of the Ku Klux Klan before slashing an Asian shopkeeper's face.

Joshua McCreadie, 18, carried out the revenge attack with the help of pal Jonathan Kerr, 19, just 24 hours after being bailed on a charge of racist behaviour towards the same family.

McCreadie had been arrested and released after aggressively demanding CCTV footage he thought might implicate him in an alleged traffic accident was deleted, Dumbarton Sheriff Court heard on Wednesday.

Lynne Jamieson, fiscal depute, told the court it was around 1pm when McCreadie went to the store on the first occasion.

Ms Jamieson said he began shouting and swearing racist names.

She said: "He then said 'you won't testify against me - don't get the police involved'." Officers were called but could not trace McCreadie until he attended a police station voluntarily three days later. He was bailed on the condition that he did not attempt to contact the shopkeeper or his family - but the very next day at 9.30pm he and Kerr carried out their chilling revenge attack.

One witness reported seeing a pair in "white hats" while another man said he saw them wearing "pillow cases like the Ku Klux Klan".

Ms Jamieson said: "McCreadie struck [the victim] twice in the head with the knife and Kerr struck him in the body with a metal pole." They struggled with their victim before making off - inflicting a two centimetre gash on the man's face and another wound on his forehead.

The police soon picked up McCreadie and Kerr at a nearby house.

McCreadie pled guilty to acting in a racially aggravated manner on July 25 this year at the store on Dalgliesh Avenue, Duntocher, and to breaking his bail conditions on July 30.

Both pled guilty to assaulting the man to his severe injury together on July 30.

Mr Mitchell, defending McCreadie, said his client accepted he would go to jail.

The lawyer added: "He is a young man with learning difficulties who has not had an easy early life.

"He seems to have resorted to alcohol and he was under the influence when this occurred." Kerr's lawyer Pat Fordyce pleaded with the sheriff to avoid sending his client to jail as he suffers from Asperger Syndrome - a form of autism.

Mr Fordyce added: "Mr Kerr accepts his responsibility in this matter fully." Sentencing, Sheriff William Dunlop said: "Mr McCreadie - these events present a very horrible picture of serious criminal conduct in which you played a leading part.

"Mr Kerr - your part was lesser in this horrible situation but it was still significant." McCreadie, who appeared from custody, was jailed for a total of 46 months for the offences, while Kerr, formerly of 10/4 New Street, Duntocher, was handed 27 months behind bars.