COURT: Drunk reveller ‘grabbed police officer in a bear hug’

High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.
High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.

A drunk reveller made a potentially difficult public order incident worse for police when he grabbed hold of one of the officers, a court heard.

George Taylor, 19, grabbed PC Nikki Jackson in a bear hug from behind as the officer was leading one of his friends away from Buxton Market Place, in a bid to try and calm things down.

John Cooper, prosecuting, told High Peak Magistrates’ Court that PC Jackson and PC Hodgkinson had been called to assist following reports of a disturbance on the Market Place at just before 3am on October 11.

When they arrived five men were surrounding two other officers and being obnoxious, with one in particular being abusive and confrontational.

Mr Cooper said PC Jackson, in order to help diffuse the situation, steered the loudest and most threatening man away from the scene.

But as he walked the man away, the officer was grabbed from behind in what was described as a reverse bear hug by Taylor. Fearing for his safety, the officer then managed to turn around and get his assailant on the floor.

Mr Cooper said: “While I concede there was probably no physical injury, that is not quite the point.

“The constable was trying to diffuse a potentially difficult public order situation involving drunken males on the Market Place. The conduct of this defendant obstructed the police officer in doing that and made the public order situation worse.”

When interviewed, Taylor said he had become involved after he saw his friend being pushed away from the scene.

Taylor, of Macclesfield Road, Buxton, was fined £100, ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs, a £20 victim surcharge and a £150 criminal court charge.

Kirsten Collings, defending, said: “He admitted the facts in interview, but did take the view he was obstructing as opposed to assaulting the officer because in reality he meant no harm.”

The court heard that Taylor, of previous good character and who works as a landscape gardener, had been very drunk at the time of the incident.