A DISGUSTED police officer told a jury he was left feeling “upset and annoyed” after a suspect hurled racial abuse at him, a court heard.

PC Nathan O’Sullivan, giving evidence at a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, said 63-year-old Steven Moran made the comment while in custody at Colchester police station in April last year.

Addressing a jury of six men and six women, he said: “I was disgusted, upset, I don’t believe I should have to hear that comment. No-one of any race should have to hear that comment said to them.

“[It was] very upsetting and [I am] very annoyed someone could still say that kind of comment and be happy to say that.”

Dominic Bell, prosecuting, said Moran was in custody for unrelated matters on April 21 and was kept in a cell under observation by PC Simon Potter.

PC O’Sullivan was monitoring a suspect in another cell, before he was relieved of this duty.

As he walked past PC Potter and Moran’s open cell, Moran is alleged to have looked at O’Sullivan before hurling racial abuse.

Moran, of All Saint’s Close, Dovercourt, denies a charge of racially aggravated harassment.

In cross-examination, Moran’s barrister Tom Jones said there is no CCTV or body-worn footage of the incident.

He suggested the two officers had either misheard Moran’s language or “made up” the racial abuse in order to charge him with a serious offence.

He said: “What I say actually happened Mr Potter, is that Mr Moran did not use the N-word.

“He may have been shouting, complaining, but he did not use the N-word.

“What do you say to that?

“I say either you have misheard, or you were annoyed at Mr Moran’s behaviour in the cell and you effectively made this up to charge him with a more serious racially aggravated offence.”

Both PC Potter and PC O’Sullivan said they were well used to people swearing at them while carrying out frontline police work.

But the racial slur was “a step too far”.

PC Potter said: “For me, that’s a step too far. My colleague is mixed-race.

“I see that as a deliberate attack, verbal, on my colleague, so I arrested him for that offence.”

The trial continues