Cricketer attacked Quedgeley Tesco manager after being banned
FORMER Surrey county cricketer Robin Sterling attacked a Tesco manager then subjected a policewoman to a 40-minute torrent of abuse.
The 55-year-old, who had been banned from Tesco in Quedgeley, got into a tussle with manager Anthony Ingle outside the store's staff entrance on April 19.
After he attacked Mr Ingle, other staff piled in and Sterling ended up worst off – losing several teeth as he lay on the ground, Gloucester Crown Court heard.
When Sterling was arrested and taken to Gloucester police station he ranted at PC Tracy Popplewell, using insulting Jamaican patois words, the court was told.
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"He wasn't happy he was being charged and became quite aggressive towards me," she told the court.
She said he kept telling her black people were superior to white people and made vile comments towards her.
Sterling, of Church Drive, Quedgeley, had been convicted by magistrates of assaulting Mr Ingle, using threatening behaviour and racially aggravated abusive behaviour towards the PC.
He appealed against his conviction, claiming he had acted in self-defence and had not been threatening or racist to either person.
Sterling alleged he was set upon when he spoke to Mr Ingle and other Tesco managers outside the store.
Mr Ingle told the court he was outside the store chatting to colleagues when Sterling approached, shouting and swearing.
He said he returned to the store to defuse the situation but Sterling pushed him and then hit him on the head.
"He leapt at me and put me into a full headlock around the throat. I went straight down on the floor," said Mr Ingle. "I remember my colleagues coming in on top. I wasn't able to breathe."
Judge William Hart, sitting with two magistrates, upheld Sterling's assault conviction but allowed the appeal against conviction for using threatening behaviour towards Mr Ingle and the appeal against the racially aggravated element of the charge against PC Popplewell.
Sterling's original sentence was a 12-week curfew, £50 compensation to PC Popplewell and £75 to Mr Ingle plus £200 costs.
As he had already served two months of the curfew the court varied the sentence to a 12-month conditional discharge but told him he will still have to pay the costs and compensation – plus another £150 towards appeal costs.
After the case, a Tesco spokeswoman said: "We take the safety of our colleagues and customers seriously and we do not tolerate abusive or aggressive behaviour in our stores.
"Decisions to ban customers are never taken lightly and are made at the store manager's discretion."