Man is fined for racist abuse of police officer

A 26-YEAR-OLD Harrogate man was given a ticking off by the town’s magistrates last Thursday for his attitude towards police called to an early morning incident.

Darren Atkinson, of Station View, Starbeck, pleaded guilty to using racially aggravated behaviour causing harassment, alarm or distress.

Prosecutor Steven Ovenden said the charge followed Atkinson’s abuse of an Irish-born police officer called to premises in Hargrove Road, Harrogate, at 1.45am on December 3 amid reports of a man in the garden.

When Atkinson was challenged and asked to provide personal details he turned verbally abusive and tried to walk off. He was arrested for his behaviour towards the officer.

Atkinson, a father of two, who was not legally represented, told court chairman Graham Saunders he had drunk four or five pints before the incident. ‘‘They (the police) were funny with me, so I was funny with them.

“I was not doing anything wrong,’’ he added.

Ordering a fine of £80 with £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge, Mr Saunders told Atkinson: ‘‘The police have difficult enough job without suffering the sort of abuse they received from you that night when they were doing their job.’’