Police used head-butt to restrain assault suspect who violently resisted arrest

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

A combination of alcohol and prescription medication saw a man act completely out of character and assault his girlfriend, a court was told.

Jack Alister Howie, 27, of Low Leighton Road, New Mills, then violently resisted two police officers which led to one of them head-butting the defendant to restrain him, High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard.

Jennifer Fitzgerald, prosecuting, said on January 2 Howie and his girlfriend Catrina Shaw had been out to a party, and while walking home in the early hours of January 3 they had argued about which route to take.

Howie assaulted Ms Shaw by grabbing her around the neck and punching her once, Ms Fitzgerald said.

Ms Shaw returned to the property where the party was taking place and police were called.

Concerned for the welfare of Howie, after receiving no response at his home address police obtained the keys and let themselves into the property. They found Howie asleep, woke him up and arrested him, but due to the risk posed by negotiating the stairs they were set to handcuff him once downstairs.

Howie began to struggle violently, said Ms Fitzgerald, with one officer stating he had never come across someone so intent on doing serious harm to him and his colleague, and that he had been shocked at how quickly the defendant’s behaviour had changed and how violent and unpredictable he had been.

Annis Rowlands, defending, said: “Previously when he had taken too much alcohol he had not been mixing it with prescription drugs, which probably gives some explanation as to why he behaved in an entirely out of character way, and why he had little recollection of events.

“The argument was a relatively minor disagreement and the defendant accepts and acknowledges it was completely on his part.”

Ms Rowlands said Howie was normally placid and did not have a temper, and described his behaviour with officers as bizarre.

The court heard Howie was left with a broken nose and two black eyes as a result of the head-butt, but that he did not take issue with the actions of the officer.

Howie was given a 12-month community order with a rehabilitation activity requirement and 40 hours’ unpaid work. He must also pay £85 prosecution costs and a £60 government surcharge.