A TIDWORTH man has been ordered to pay compensation after racially abusing a police officer.

Paul King, aged 30, of Connaught Road, appeared in Salisbury Magistrates Court today charged with a racially aggravated offence under the Public Order Ac

On May 31, officers were patrolling the finishing stages of the Salisbury cycling event when their attention was drawn to a group sat on a bench in the Cheese Market area.

King was part of this group and was drinking alcohol. Two officers approached the group and told them the area was a designated no alcohol zone.

King objected to this and racially abused one of the officers before becoming uncooperative and hostile.

He was arrested and later charged with the offence.

Today he pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay £150 compensation and £40 Crown Prosecution Service costs.

Inspector Pete Sparrow said: “We will not tolerate any form of abuse, either verbal or physical whether that is to a member of the public or a police officer and I hope this case illustrates that we will bring offenders to court.

“We’d like to reassure the local community that we will take action following any reports of hate crimes – do not suffer in silence."