Sheffield programme seller ‘sorry’ for racially abusing police officer

David Masters pleaded guilty to the offence at Sheffield Magistrates' Court.
David Masters pleaded guilty to the offence at Sheffield Magistrates' Court.
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A 70-year-old man who racially abused a police officer at a football match has admitted he “made a mistake” and has apologised.

David Masters, of Highcliffe Drive, Sheffield, was working as a programme seller at the Sheffield United versus Coventry City match at Bramall Lane on April 5 when he made the comments to a police officer stood by the turnstiles outside the stadium shortly before 7pm.

The officer questioned what had said to him, only for Masters to repeat his comments.

A second officer tried to move Masters away and advised him his behaviour was unacceptable, however he approached the first officer for a second time, reached out and touched the victim’s beard and made further racially abusive remarks.

Masters was arrested and charged with racially aggravated behaviour under the Public Order Act, and appeared at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday this week, where he pleaded guilty.

He was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a £20 victim surcharge, and has been relieved of his duties by Sheffield United.

Temporary Chief Inspector Ian Proffitt, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “Masters behaviour that evening was completely unacceptable, and whether or not it was his intention to cause offence, his comments were indeed offensive and will not be tolerated.

“We will not condone any form of abuse or assault towards our officers and staff.”