Dad hit police officer during Whitby Street fracas

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A DAD-OF-TWO lashed out “recklessly” and hit a police officer while trying to help another reveller who had got caught up in a fight.

Richard James Simpson had been out in Hartlepool’s Church Street area when a fight broke out in Whitby Street.

He went to the aid of a woman who was on the ground while the fracas was taking place, when he suddenly felt someone behind him.

Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard that the married 40-year-old thrashed out with his arm and hit an officer to the neck or facial area.

Prosecuting, Christopher Rose said: “It was 1.50am when there was an altercation in Whitby Street, in Hartlepool. Two officers attended this incident and waded in to try to stop the parties from fighting.

“While the officer was dealing with this he was struck by somebody. It turned out to be the defendant. He was taken hold of and arrested and immediately apologised.”

Mr Rose added: “The officer said he reeled back and had some reddening to his face as a result of the blow.”

Simpson, of Longscar Walk, in the Burbank area of Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer on August 10.

Mitigating, Mike Simpson said: “Simpson was trying to aid somebody else on the ground when he felt hands behind him and he lashed out recklessly. This was not intentional and the officer didn’t see this but this young man has said ‘that’s what I did’. He immediately apologised, and kept apologising throughout the course of his arrest and detention.”

The solicitor added: “He made a mistake, it was a reckless action.”

Chairman of the bench Doreen Goode ordered Simpson to pay £75 compensation to the officer and ordered him to pay £25 court costs.