A former Labour Party candidate has avoided jail after admitting sending homophobic text messages to a gay rival.

David Bradley, 29, of Bristol, sent 33 text messages to Ed Bramall, 33, calling him “creepy” and “vile” after Mr Bramall was selected instead of him to contest the Whitchurch Park ward at last year’s local elections.

Other explicit messages called Mr Bramall a racist and made reference to anti-gay legislation in Uganda.

Bradley was handed a eight-month suspended sentence after admitting to a charge of harassment without violence between March and August last year, the Bristol Evening Post reports.

A court heard that he was “very remorseful” for his behaviour and had received help for depression and drinking too much.

Bradley was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of community service and pay Mr Bramall £200 in compensation and £85 costs.