Man who struck Pc avoids jail sentence

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A Sudbury man who struck a police officer in the face has narrowly avoided prison.

Stephen Perry, from Hardy Court, had been arrested for an alleged breach of a restraining order when he became aggressive, Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court heard on Friday.

Prosecutor Emma Howson said that Perry, who pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer, was uncooperative and abusive on route to Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre on June 13.

“The Pc was on duty and was called to deal with the defendant,” she said.

“When the defendant was arrested, he tried to harm himself in the police car. He repeatedly released his seat belt and hit his head against the window.”

Miss Howson said that once in custody, the 45-year-old continued his disruptive behaviour.

“While being restrained, he lashed out with his right elbow and caught a police officer on the jaw,” she said.

When interviewed, Perry – who was in breach of a suspended prison sentence of 16 weeks, imposed in April for battery – had said he did not realise he had made contact with the officer and, if he had, claimed it was by accident.

In mitigation, Michael Whatley said his client was arrested following a false claim from his ex-partner that he had breached a restraining order.

“He was a nuisance and was very reckless, but there was no injury to the officer,” he said. “He was arrested for something he did not do and overreacted.”

Mr Whatley said a probationary report showed Perry was behaving well in completing unpaid work following a previous offence.

Barry Ellis, chairman of the bench, said: “You have escaped going to prison by very little due to the excellence of the report. Be very careful from now on.”