A racist who slashed the throat of a Muslim security guard in Braintree, Essex, received a 28-year prison sentence for attempted murder.

Geoffrey Ryan, 53, who was drinking at The Lounge in Market Square last September, became aggressive towards other customers, and when two security staff approached him at 9 pm that evening, he targeted them with anti-Muslim remarks.

By 9:30 pm, as Essex Police detailed, a group of women reported Ryan’s harassment, and after security intervened again, Geoffrey Ryan made more anti-Muslim remarks and threw his drink over the security staff’s colleague.

The Basildon, Canvey & Southend Echo reported that Ryan made death threats towards the staff and flicked a cigarette towards them.

After staff removed a hooded Ryan from the premises, he returned to the town centre, driving a Seat Ibiza and waiting in a supermarket car park before he walked to the pub, approached the security guard, and used a razor to slash their neck.

Police emphasised that the sheer level of violence almost resulted in murder, leaving the Muslim man with life-changing injuries, surviving thanks to the quick actions of police and other emergency services.

Charges against Ryan included attempted murder and racially aggravated harassment.

Judge David Turner KC said: “I am completely satisfied it had a significant and disturbing anti-Muslim flavour,” the Basildon, Canvey & Southend Echo added in their sentencing coverage.

In a statement, Detective Inspector Lydia George of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: “Ryan showed clear intention to kill the victim. He is undoubtedly a very dangerous individual and, today, justice was served for the victim and his family.

“This incident continues to have a lasting impact on the victim, but it is no exaggeration to say we could very easily have been investigating a murder. The wound was just millimetres from being fatal.”