Man who punched and dug his nails into two police officers spared custody

A man who attacked two police officers after they were called to a disturbance has avoided going to jail.

By Nick Frame
Friday, 20th May 2022, 11:45 am

Ian Robinson was already on a suspended sentence for violence when he punched a police officer, then later dug his nails into the arm of another, Leeds Crown Court was told.

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Prosecutor Benjamin Bell said that officers were called to Willow Court in Castleford at around 8.30am on August 2 last year, following reports that Robinson was at the property causing criminal damage.

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Body-worn footage from the officers was played to the court, showing Robinson in a vest and shorts arguing with the officers. Picture: Tony Johnson.

Body-worn footage from the officers was played to the court, showing Robinson in a vest and shorts arguing with the officers.

Mr Bell said Robinson then punched one to the side of the face before getting him in handcuffs. The officers reported that the defendant smelt of alcohol.

He was heard saying on the footage "I ain't done owt (sic) wrong".

After putting him in the back of the police car, he then began hitting his head against the window, so was pulled from the vehicle and continued to be obstructive.

They then took him to the floor where he dug his nails into the other officer's arm.

During his interview at the station he gave no comment.

The 52-year-old, formerly of Aketon Road, Castleford, denied two counts of assault and one of obstruction, but was found guilty at Leeds Magistrates' Court, despite not turning up for his trial.

He was later arrested and held on remand until sentencing at Leeds Crown Court this week.

He has seven previous convictions for 10 offences, including actual bodily harm in 2017 for which he received an eight-month jail term, and an actual bodily harm conviction from last year for which he received six months' jail, suspended for 18 months.

A probation report read to the court found that Robinson still maintains he did not assault the officers.

It was heard that he has a long-term alcohol problem but had been reducing his intake before being taken into custody.

The probation service felt they could work with him and did not recommend that he be returned to jail.

The judge, Recorder Harry Vann, told him: "You were only a third of a way through a suspended sentence.

"Assaulting emergency workers is a very serious offence. It puts me in a quandary, but I'm not minded to impose custody from this point onwards."

The judge chose to add another six months to the suspension of his previous sentence, taking it to six months' jail, suspended for 24 months.

He also gave him a new community order with 25 rehabilitation days, a six-month electronically-tagged curfew and told him he must reside at his mother's address.

But he also warned Robinson that he may not escape custody if he is brought before the courts again, and said: "I doubt a future judge will take a generous view."