A MAN sent offensive text messages to his drug rehabilitation officer, including a racist remark about a policeman, a court heard.

Richard Wilson was receiving support from the female drugs worker and the police officer as part of the Prolific and Priority Offender scheme when he sent the messages on January 10.

The 45-year-old, of George Street, Shildon, County Durham, admitted sending communication of an indecent nature in February but denied a further charge of racially aggravated harassment.

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He was convicted of the offence following a trial earlier this month and the matter was adjourned for probation reports.

Penny Bottomley, prosecuting at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court, said Wilson had sent six messages in which he called the woman insulting names and made a racist remark about a policeman of Indian heritage.

In a statement read out in court, the police officer said Wilson had previously suggested to him that domestic violence was acceptable within the Indian culture.

“I found this deeply offensive,” the officer said. “I am proud of my British and Asian roots. I treat people with dignity and respect and I expect them to afford the same treatment to me.”

Stephanie Thompson, mitigating, said Wilson felt he was not getting enough support and became upset when his request for his ex-partner’s new address was refused.

She said he was drunk when he sent the messages, adding: “He doesn’t consider himself as someone who is racist and has apologised for his actions.”

Wilson was sentenced to eight weeks in custody, suspended for 12 months.

During this time he will be supervised by the Probation Service and must undertake an alcohol treatment programme.

He was also ordered to pay a £80 victim surcharge.