A MAN has been fined for calling his neighbour's boyfriend a racist name.

At Newcastle Magistrates' Court on May 26, Ronald Bryant (53) of Chirdon Crescent, Hexham, pleaded guilty to causing harassment, alarm or distress by using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour which was racially aggravated.

The court heard that, on July 25 last year, Bryant called his neighbour’s boyfriend an offensive, racist name, even though the boyfriend wasn’t present at the scene. Before this, Bryant and his neighbour had been friends but had a falling out.

In defence, Adrian Ions, said: "Mr Bryant has learned his lesson. Witnesses haven’t asked for a restraining order, they would be weaponising something that needs to be forgotten about. Essentially, it is an argument between two people who were friends at the time, and it got out of hand.

"Mr Bryant accepts he said something he shouldn’t have but went a little too far. That language is not acceptable in this day and age and it would have been upsetting to hear that about her former partner, but it was not said in the presence of the person who it was made about.

“Police came to speak to him as a voluntary offender. The racial element was what brought this to court.”

Bryant was fined £192, and ordered to pay court costs of £310 and a victim surcharge of £34.