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Former football referee racially abused pub manager after drinking nine pints

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A former West Norfolk football referee wound up in court after racially abusing a member of staff at a town pub.Nigel Kerrison, 66, of Kirstead in Fairstead, appeared at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, where he pleaded guilty to racially aggravated harassment.He committed the offence on November 13, and actually alerted police to the incident himself.

Nigel Kerrison appeared at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday

Kerrison had entered a pub on Wootton Road in Gaywood on that date despite being barred from doing so after an earlier incident on September 1.Staff asked him to leave, but he refused and asked to see the manager – before referring to him as a “black c**t”.Despite more requests for him to leave, Kerrison continued to refer to the manager in those terms.He did eventually leave the premises, but proceeded to stand on the opposite side of the road and look across at the pub while smoking.At this point, Kerrison himself contacted the police. When an officer approached him, he told him he had phoned 999 “because of that black c**t”.He told the officer he had consumed nine pints on the day, and continued to swear after being arrested.In mitigation, duty solicitor George Sorrell told the court that Kerrison had committed no offences for nearly a quarter of a century, and served as a football referee in the area for a number of years.However, after his wife died in September 2022, he went through a period of “great upset”.“From time to time, he has sought some comfort in drinking to excess,” Mr Sorrell said.“He feels that his conduct on this occasion was largely due to the fact that he was not himself. He had difficulty remembering things, and would say things he didn’t mean.“He has no ingrained racial sentiments.“The defendant realises that conduct such as this is particularly unacceptable. He wasn’t allowed in that pub, and he shouldn’t have been there.“The language was offensive and he will now need to pay the price.”Magistrates fined Kerrison £120 for his offence. He will also pay £105 in court costs and a £48 victim surcharge.

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