Man apologises after racially abusing police officer at football match

A man who racially abused a police officer at a football match has admitted he “made a mistake” with his comments and actions and apologised.

David Masters, 70, of Highcliffe Drive in Sheffield, was working as a programme seller at the Sheffield United vs Coventry City match at Bramall Lane on the evening of Wednesday, 5 April.

Police say at around 6.50pm, two officers working the match were stood outside the stadium at the turnstiles when Masters approached one of them and made a racially abusive comment.

The officer questioned what Masters had said to him out of disbelief, and Masters repeated his comments.

The second officer tried to move Masters away and advise him his behaviour was unacceptable, however he ignored the advice and again approached and reached out touching the first officer’s beard and making further racially abusive comments.

Masters was arrested and later charged with racially aggravated section 5 public order.

He appeared at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday and entered a guilty plea to the offence. He was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a £20 victim surcharge, as well as being dismissed by SUFC.

“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, who are all committed to serving and protecting the public and our communities in South Yorkshire and keeping them safe. “I do hope he will reflect on his actions following this incident and consider the potential impact his thoughtless words can have on others.”

T/Chief Inspector Ian Proffitt