THREE brothers who racially abused and threatened a police officer at Accrington Railway Station have appeared in court.

Sohail Arif, 19, of Burnley Road, Accrington, pleaded guilty to causing harassment, alarm or distress, resisting a police officer, possession of cannabis and possession of a bladed article in a public place. He was given a four-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months, a 26-hour attendance requirement and ordered to pay £115 in costs.

His brothers, Rohail, 20 and Wasim, 21, of the same address, both admitted using racially aggravated threatening or abusive words or disorderly behaviour and were each fined £90. They were also each ordered to pay £105 costs and £75 compensation to the police officer.

The court heard how on April 27 officers were called to the station following a report of disorder. Sohail approached the attending officers smoking cannabis and challenged them to arrest him. He began goading the officers and was eventually arrested for a public order offence.

A group of Sohail’s friends then surrounded the officers and grabbed Sohail, freeing him.

The incident was captured on body-worn video and images of Sohail were circulated in an attempt to trace him.

On May 8, Sohail was spotted by officers again at Accrington station and was arrested. A search of Sohail found cannabis and a knife, which he claimed was for cutting fruit.

A number of Sohail’s acquaintances once again surrounded the officers with Wasim and Rohail threatening one of the officers, spitting and shouting obscenities and racist abuse at him.

Both left the station when more officers arrived but were later arrested at their home.

Speaking after the case, British Transport Poiice PCSO Dax Byrne-Turner said: “This blatant and arrogant disregard for the law resulted in the three brothers being brought before the courts. The railway is a place for everyone and anti social behaviour and disorder will simply not to be tolerated. Similarly anyone using drugs and carrying weapons on the railway will be dealt with robustly. The Arif brothers all eventually pleaded guilty to the offences and it is hoped they have learned that behaviour like this is absolutely not acceptable.”