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Drunken football yob who denied IRA chant racially abused officer and caused cell to flood

By Nevin Farrell

Published 01/12/2015

Colin Taylor leaves court yesterday
Colin Taylor leaves court yesterday

A football fan who police believed shouted "Up the Ra" outside a ground claimed he was making a joke chant - "Up the Fra" - about Fra McCaffrey, who plays for Irish League side Glentoran.

At Coleraine Magistrates Court yesterday, 40-year-old Colin Taylor, a taxi driver from Bristol Park, Newtownards, admitted being disorderly outside The Showgrounds on Saturday, August 8, this year after leaving a game between the home team and the Glens at half-time.

When brought to Coleraine PSNI station, he called an officer a "f****** P***". He admitted a charge of harassment, which he accepted was aggravated by racial hostility.

He subjected the officer to abuse every time he passed his cell, which he also flooded by stuffing a pillow down the toilet.

A prosecutor said that at around 4pm on August 8, Taylor left The Showgrounds and slapped a police officer's body armour. When warned about his behaviour, officers believed he began shouting "Up the Ra".

When he refused to calm down he was arrested and limb restraints had to be used. At the police station he made the racist remarks towards the custody sergeant, whom he called a "f****** P***".

The prosecutor said the officer was "upset and annoyed" and could not pass Taylor's cell without the defendant making racist remarks.

She said Taylor then put a pillow down a toilet causing the cell to flood.

A defence lawyer said his client does not accept he shouted "Up the Ra", but instead was shouting "Up the Fra" in a "witty way" regarding a player called Fra McCaffrey.

The lawyer said Taylor had been drinking in a bar in Coleraine and believed his drink may have been spiked and he had only a vague memory of his offending, for which he now apologises.

Taylor previously admitted four charges, of disorderly behaviour, resisting police, harassment and criminal damage, and was fined £350 and ordered to pay compensation of £100 for damaging the police cell.

District Judge Peter King said he increased the harassment fine from £75 to £150 because it was aggravated by hostility, and he warned Taylor to be "very careful about the language you use in future".

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