A district judge is the latest legal figure to criticise a sentence handed out by magistrates to a man who racially abused a female police officer.

The Police Federation slammed the conditional discharge handed out to Lockwood man John Moorhouse as an “utter joke”.

The criticism came last week after the 22-year-old escaped punishment for an offence of racially-aggravated threatening behaviour.

The police officer was conducting bail checks at his home when he called her a P**i and demanded her badge number.

The shaken PC described this as the worst racial abuse she had been subjected to throughout her 10-year career.

Kirklees magistrates sentenced Moorhouse to a 12-month conditional discharge, convicting him in his absence after he failed to show for his trial.

They found that there had been some degree of provocation after hearing that his family had been inundated with doorstep checks by police.

But West Yorkshire Police Federation chairman Nick Smart said: “This is an utter joke of a sentence.

A screen shot of the West Yorkshire Police Federation page on Facebook where chairman Nick Smart made comments over the sentence of John Moorhouse, of Lockwood, who made racist remarks to a female police officer. Moorhouse was convicted of racially-aggravated disorderly behaviour but received a 12-month conditional discharge.

“There is no deterrent with such a sentence and it undermines the whole issue of hate crime.

“It would seem that police officers doing their work diligently is an acceptable excuse to be racist - and to be punished lightly.”

Mr Smart also called for a review of sentences for those who physically and verbally attack officers.

When Moorhouse appeared at the Huddersfield court in custody yesterday after breaching the terms of two court orders, District Judge Michael Fanning also gave his views on the recent sentencing.

He said: “I understand that the Police Federation have complained about this.

“He got a conditional discharge and I can’t see how when you commit a racially-aggravated offence in these circumstances for which you were convicted in your absence.

John Moorhouse hurled racist abuse at police officer

“It seems to me that it was dealt with very lightly.”

Moorhouse, of North Street, was further arrested after breaching two community orders handed out for offences to attempted burglary.

He missed appointments with probation staff on July 4 and 5.

Moorhouse also breached the terms of his suspended 20-week jail term when he went missing from his home during his curfew hours between July 15 and 18.

A family member told officers carrying out checks that he had gone to Ireland and removed his curfew monitoring tag.

Kirklees Magistrates Court, Huddersfield.
Kirklees Magistrates Court, Huddersfield.

Mike Sisson-Pell, mitigating, said that Moorhouse had recently become involved in a spate of offending.

He explained that his client’s father had a heart attack in Dublin and he was the only family member available to go to him.

This “medical emergency” was why he missed his curfew and also the reason for his failing to show up for his trial, Mr Sisson-Pell added.

Judge Fanning told Moorhouse that he must complete an extra eight-week curfew as punishment for the two breaches.