A DRUNKEN man hurled racial abuse at the doctor who was treating him, a court heard.

Owen Suckling was being assessed by a Nigerian doctor at Darlington Memorial Hospital when he shouted racial abuse at him and made comments about Nelson Mandela.

Suckling, of Brunton Street, Darlington, had been out drinking for most of the day on New Year’s Eve when he began being aggressive towards door staff at Harvey’s bar, in the town.

When police arrived at around 1am, he also began threatening them, Darlington Magistrates’ Court heard.

Graham Jacobs, prosecuting, said once in custody, 29-year-old Suckling then kicked out at a police officer before being taken to hospital.

Suckling admitted assaulting a police constable in execution of his duty, using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour and racially aggravated harassment.

He also pleaded guilty to two charges of criminal damage after he slashed the tyres on a neighbour’s car on January 5 and damaged the front door of another neighbour’s house after mistaking it for his own on February 9.

Nick Woodhouse, mitigating, said Suckling had been drinking for most of the day and didn’t remember any of the incident on New Year’s Eve.

“He can’t understand why he would make such a comment, particularly when the doctor has been treating him,” he said.

“Alcohol has played a significant role in his life and treatment may well be required.”

Chairwoman of the bench, Patricia Wilson, described the incident as deplorable and sentenced Suckling to a 12-month community order with 12 months of supervision.

He was also ordered to complete 40 hours of unpaid work and pay £673 compensation to his neighbours.