Trevor Sinclair banned for drink-driving after racially abusing policeman
Former England player Trevor Sinclair has been ordered to do 150 hours' community service and given a 20-month drink-driving ban for racially abusing a policeman after being arrested while twice over the limit.
The 44-year-old TV pundit asked the officer if he was being arrested because he was black and accusing the police of racism before urinating in a patrol car, Blackpool Magistrates' Court heard.
Sinclair continued being racist after he was taken to the cells at Blackpool police station.
Sinclair, of Victory Boulevard, Lytham, Lancashire, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to drink-driving and a racially aggravated public order offence on Nov. 12 last year.
Passing sentence, District Judge Jeff Brailsford ordered Sinclair to pay £500 compensation to Pc Gareth Evans and gave the defendant 150 hours' community service for each offence, to run concurrently. He also banned him from the road for 20 months.
Nick Freeman, representing Sinclair, said the "catalyst" for his behaviour that night was being subjected to racism, in front of his family, while out having a meal hours earlier.
Freeman said a woman had approached the father-of-four, patting him on the head and calling him a "little chocolate man."
After Sinclair's guilty pleas, the prosecution dropped other charges including assault on a police officer, failing to provide a specimen and criminal damage.
District Judge Brailsford told Sinclair: "In a truly civilised society racism has absolutely no place whatsoever. You have worked long hours to try to eradicate what is a real scourge in society.
"It's also to enormous credit the work you do to try to get rid of racism. I don't know how anybody copes with that sort of thing and comes through it unmarked. So it is particularly sad when events unfolded that night, the words you used that night.
"I'm confident, from all the things I have heard, you are unlikely to be troubling the police and courts again."
Earlier, Jim Mowbray, prosecuting, told the court that, at around 8:45 p.m. on November 12 last year, police were alerted to an incident at Sinclair's home address but were told he had left in his Tesla car and he may have been drinking.
Patrols were out looking for him and found his car stopped in the middle of the road in Clifton Drive, Blackpool, after Sinclair had been in collision with a woman who had stepped into his path after getting out of a tax.
In a statement read to the court, Pc Evans said: "I asked Mr Sinclair what had happened. It appeared to me he was drunk, unsteady on his feet and his eyes were glazed." Sinclair was given a roadside breath test and was found to be twice over the drink-drive limit, giving a reading of 72 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, with the limit being 35mg.
He was cautioned and arrested and a secure van requested to the roadside -- but then his behaviour changed, the court heard.
Pc Evans' statement continued: "Before his arrest he was very calm, polite and courteous.
"He started asking if it was because he was black. Black people are under-represented in the police. He started getting more confrontational, he was getting more aggressive. I did not like the direction the conversation was going in -- he was accusing me of being racist.
"He began to become more agitated and aggressive."
During the search, the officer discovered Sinclair's trousers were wet -- and that he had urinated while sitting in the police car.
And when Sinclair was put in the back of the police van, he called the officer a "white..." followed by a swear word as the van doors slammed.
Sinclair made further racist comments while in the back of the van and continued to be "obnoxious, aggressive and racist while being booked in."
Pc Evans' statement concluded: "Sinclair's behaviour following his arrest was awful. I'm not a racist. His behaviour was extremely racist."
Sinclair's professional career ran from 1989 until 2008, during which time he played for Blackpool, QPR, West Ham, Manchester City and Cardiff. He also won 12 England caps between 2001 and 2003.