Manchester Magistrates Court heard how the three young adults verbally abused the American in front of passengers.
Aaron Cauchi, 19, Robert Molloy, 20, and a 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted to abusing the veteran Juan Jasso, after he asked them to stop swearing.
Video footage of the volatile abuse shows the group turning on Mr Jasso before they are heard shouting: “Get deported. You're a muppet. Get off the tram now. F*****g get off the tram now. Don't chat s**t or get deported.”
Mr Jasso responds: “How old are you 18 or 19? I have been here longer than you. You are extremely ignorant and unintelligent."
The footage was recorded just five days after the EU referendum vote in June last year, as fellow commuters were heard sticking up for Mr Jasso, a lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Juan Jasso was verbally abuse on the tram in Manchester
Commuters can be heard shouting back calling the yobs “disgusting” and a “disgrace”.
The group was later arrested following two other commuters were assaulted in random attacks carried out by the trio in Manchester on June 28 last year.
Cauchi pleaded guilty to two public order offences against Mr Jasso and another man, Alistair Lambert, and assault on a third person, Andrew Guest, all on the same day.
Molloy pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault of Mr Jasso, common assault to Mr Guest and using threatening words or behaviour to Mr Lambert.
The 16-year-old pleaded guilty to using threatening words or behaviour towards Mr Jasso and Mr Lambert and common assault to Mr Guest and received a six month referral order, £100 costs and £20 compensation to each victim.
The father-of-one veteran, who now works as a fitness tutor at Calderdale College, said: “I still feel very frustrated when all I wanted to do was to talk to them about their language. I did not expect to be racially abused.
Robert Molloy and Aaron Cauchi appeared in Manchester Magistrates Court for the abuse
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I did not expect to be racially abused
“Their behaviour towards me was unacceptable. I do not fear them but I find their behaviour especially in this situation absolutely awful.
“I have lived in this country for 13 years and served seven in the military. This is the first incident of racist abuse I have suffered.”
The shocking video went viral on social media after the yobs from Salford abused the American veteran.
Mr Jasso, who worked as a Signals Intelligence Analyst in the US Army from 1997 to 2004, added: “It's not something you'd ever like to experience in your daily life.
“It's not something that's a pleasant experience and it's something that I hopefully never have to go through again – but if I need to confront somebody about it again I will do.
Juan Jasso stood up to the yobs on the tram before he was verbally abused
“I just hope that people realise that that sort of behaviour is not acceptable or tolerated.”
Prosecuting Joseph O'Connor said: “There were school children, and children in buggies and people commuting to work on a busy tram.
“The 16-year old led the group towards Mr Jasso and asked him to ‘get off’ so they could fight.
“The three got off the tram stop at the Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester City Centre and were seen shouting towards the tram.”
Mr Jasso, a rugby league player who has also coached the rugby league team London Broncos said he decided to stand up to the trio, who appeared to be drinking from beer bottles, despite knowing that he would “probably be on his own”.
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