Kelso rugby player fined £400 for shouting racist abuse at police officer

Shouting racist abuse at a police officer has landed a Kelso rugby player with a £400 fine.

Kelso rugby player Ashton Robertson.
Kelso rugby player Ashton Robertson.

Ashton Robertson, of Grovehill in Kelso, directed drunken abuse at two officers in the town’s centre and later in the back of a police van after a day drinking on Friday, October 5.

Police had picked up the 20-year-old forklift truck driver after he caused a disturbance outside the Black Swan pub in Horsemarket.

He proceeded to direct abuse at the two officers, constables Roger Changleng and Luke Cameron, from the back of the police van, repeatedly using the term “piggy b******” before calling one officer a “f***ing specky-four-eyed c***” and another a “Paki b******”.

He denied that racist slur but was found guilty of racially aggravated abuse at Jedburgh Sheriff Court last Thursday.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser told him: “You were trying to raise the temperature. You called them a baldy b****** and a piggy b****** and they didn’t react to that.

“PC Changleng is a rugby referee. He has refereed matches you have been in.

“You have seen him before and you would have known that he is not someone who is 100% of Scottish origin.

“You were so wound up and upset that you thought you would give him a piece of your mind.

“The truth, Mr Robertson, is that you were a drunken thug that night and you were trying everything possible to rile these officers.

“Even in this court, stone cold sober, you could not control your behaviour.”

Despite suggesting the police officers “had it in for him” and claiming he clearly remembers the incident, Robertson’s lack of consistency and accuracy in giving evidence was noted.

PC Changleng, 46, an officer of 14 years’ experience stationed at Kelso since August, said: “He was hugely agitated and was shouting and swearing in the rear of the van.

“He made a comment which was inappropriate.

“I spoke to the accused and told him that whatever trouble he was in before, this sort of language towards me would double it.

“I have been called a lot of things in my time. I think in this job you are expected to take some forms of verbal abuse.”

PC Cameron, 23, an officer for two years now stationed at at Eyemouth, added: “His behaviour was appalling.

“He called me a c*** numerous times and my colleague a Paki b******.

“I heard him call me a piggy b****** earlier in the night and there was a distinctive difference in the sound of those words.”

Sheriff Robert Vaughan said: “I do not see any reason which justifies your suggestion that the officers had made it up. I found both officers credible and reliable.

“I view this as being drunken behaviour, which was demonstrated by the lack of accuracy in respect to the comment made to this officer, who was someone of Chinese origin.”

Robertson was found guilty of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and ordered to pay a £400 penalty at a rate of £100 per month.