A woman of Pakistani heritage used racist language towards a taxi driver who criticised her for drinking alcohol.

Blackburn magistrates heard the criticism sparked a furious row between Ushba Awan and taxi driver Junaid Ejaz who then started filming the female on his mobile phone.

She lashed out at the phone and hit him on the back of the head.

Awan was charged with racially aggravated assault and Neil White, prosecuting, said it was the correct charge despite them sharing the same ethnicity.

“She says her ethnicity is Pakistani which is the same as the aggrieved,” said Mr White.

“Her offence targeted his ethnicity, regardless of the fact it is the same as hers.”

Awan, 29, of Worcester Road, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault and possession of cannabis. She was fined £150 and ordered to pay £100 compensation to Mr Ejaz and £22 victim surcharge.

Mr White said Awan and a friend had been picked up by Mr Ejaz at 4 am and it was clear they had both been drinking.

“The driver began to criticise her for drinking because she is a Muslim,” said Mr White.

“This led to an argument which he then started to video. She called him a “P*** c*** and then struck him on the back of the head.

"It appears she has lashed out at him because he is holding the phone towards her.”

Mr White said Awan had no previous convictions.

Jonathan Taylor, defending, said his client had to pay £5 before the taxi driver would start the journey and when they arrived at her address he demanded another £5.

“They became embroiled in an argument about payment and he made some comments about her lifestyle,” said Mr Taylor.

“The taxi driver made it clear he didn’t approve of her drinking because she is a Muslim and she took exception to what was being said. They became embroiled in a row which got worse and worse and she said a hurtful thing.”

Mr Taylor said his client was of Pakistani descent and it was an unusual thing for her to say.

“She was angry that he was videoing her and swung at the phone to knock it away,” said Mr Taylor. “She caught his head in that action and accepts she was reckless.”