BBC 'will not use' Trevor Sinclair as pundit after he racially abused police officer

Sean Morrison
Court appearance: Trevor Sinclair arriving at Blackpool Magistrates' Court with his wife Natalie in November: PA

Ex-England footballer Trevor Sinclair will no longer be used as a BBC sport pundit after he racially abused a policeman who arrested him for drink-driving.

The broadcaster said it had “no scheduled plans” to use the 44-year-old on any of its programmes.

Sinclair, who has worked for anti-discrimination charity Show Racism The Red Card, was ordered on Tuesday to do 150 hours' community service and given a 20-month drink-driving ban after being found twice over the limit.

He asked the officer if he was being arrested because he was black and accused the police of racism before urinating in a patrol car, Blackpool Magistrates' Court heard.

He then called the officer a "white c***", as the police van doors were slammed on him.

A BBC spokesman said on Tuesday he worked for them on a freelance basis and it "currently had no scheduled plans" to use him again.

Sinclair, of Victory Boulevard, Lytham, Lancashire, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to drink-driving and a racially aggravated public order offence on November 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.

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.

"So it is particularly sad when events unfolded that night, the words you used that night."

Earlier, Jim Mowbray, prosecuting, told the court that, at around 8.45pm 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 taxi.

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.

Sinclair was cautioned and arrested and a secure van was 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."

During the search, the officer discovered Sinclair's trousers were wet and that he urinated while sitting in the police car.

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."

Nick Freeman, representing Sinclair, said: "He's totally appalled at his behaviour. He's embarrassed, genuinely contrite and first and foremost would like to apologise to Pc Evans.

"He accepts police were not racist towards him."

He said the defendant had been out for a meal with his wife and family and then to a bar.

Mr Freeman continued: "Whilst in that bar, a lady came over to the defendant and rubbed his head and called him a 'little chocolate man'.

"That appears to be the catalyst."

He added: "He actually abhors racism and he's been a member of a charity. It's called Show Racism The Red Card.

"The purpose of the charity is to eradicate racism, not just in football.

"The terrible paradox is that increases the sense of frustration, embarrassment and contrition.

"The real Mr Sinclair is someone who abhors racism."

The defendant played as a winger for Manchester City, West Ham and Blackpool and made 12 appearances for England.

Additional reporting by the Press Association.