A SUNDERLAND AFC fan who posted racist abuse on the internet also burgled the home of his girlfriend’s mother shortly after she died.
Peter Copeland’s sentencing for the burglary had been deferred, but he breached the deferment by making racist anti-Newcastle United remarks on the Twitter messaging website, Durham Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Sean Dryden said: “The burglary took place at the West Rainton home of the mother of the defendant’s former partner.
“The mother had recently died and the defendant waited until his partner was away for the weekend, before stealing cash and jewellery valued at £3,700.
“He pawned the jewellery at a shop in Sunderland for £2,500, before going out on the town in Darlington.”
Copeland, 29, of Benridge Bank, West Rainton, admitted burglary on October 4, last year.
Tony Davis, defending, said about the Twitter comments: “Mr Copeland sent those messages under severe provocation.
“He is now in work, taking home about £160 a week as a labourer.
“He has board and lodgings to pay, but could manage £50 a week towards compensation for the victims of the burglary.”
Judge Christopher Prince sentenced Copeland to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, a 12-month supervision order, and 150 hours of unpaid work.
He was ordered to pay £3,740 in compensation and costs. The judge told Copeland: “Your former partner took you into her confidence by showing you her’s and her family’s jewellery.
“You breached this confidence by staging a burglary, then selling some things to a pawnbroker before going out on the town, with cash in your pocket, boasting about what you had done.
“Then, you are before a court for posting foul and racist abuse on the communications network.
“I’m sure ordinary people must wonder what goes through your mind – these were two quite despicable offences.”
Copeland must pay the compensation and costs at £50 a week.