Officers use pepper spray on Leeds man who refused to get in police car after crash

Leeds Magistrates' Court.
Leeds Magistrates' Court.
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A motorist who refused to co-operate with police after a car crash has ended up in court.

Paul Murphy, 45, of Wellstone Garth, was involved in a collision just one street away from his own home in Swinnow near Bramley earlier this month while on his way to pick up one of his daughters.

Appearing at Leeds Magistrates' Court on Friday, Murphy pleaded guilty to a charge of obstructing and resisting a constable in the execution of duty.

The hearing heard that when officers arrived at the scene at Wellstone Avenue, just after 11.15pm, on July 11 and asked him to sit in the police car he refused and said "breathalyse me here". Murphy was arrested on suspicion of being unfit to drive through drink or drugs and when officers tried to handcuff Murphy, the court heard he resisted by moving away from officers, tensing and moving his arms about.

Linda Fowler, prosecuting, added that he was warned several times before being pulled out of the van. He continued to resist arrest and became "aggressive". It took the use of pepper spray and help from a member of the public before police were able "to gain control of the defendant on the ground".

Ms Fowler added: "At the police station he said he understood why the officers acted as they did and he could not provide any reason why he behaved in this manner other than how members of the public had treated him at the scene."

Anjum Nazir, mitigating, said: "He was involved in a road traffic collision and as a result the vehicle airbags deployed and he was in a state of shock. A large number of people, presumably local residents, gathered around his vehicle, he felt quite intimidated and they accused him of being drunk. He became upset and agitated and did not want to interact with anyone."

Murphy was breath-tested at the police station and found not to be over the drink drive limit.

He added that Murphy's Vauxhall Caddy van was written off in the incident and he has been unable to work as a self-employed electrician since and has a £4,000 loan on the vehicle which still has to be paid off.

He was fined £40 by trainee chair magistrate Janet Hibbett and ordered to pay an additional £32 surcharge and £85 court costs."