A REVELLER sought refuge in a police station to escape a beating but then pulled a sign off the wall "in anger".
Paul Anthony Williams had been assaulted and was covered in blood when he burst into Hartlepool Police Station to get away from his attacker, justices were told.
However, the perpetrator went into the reception area of the Avenue Road station and continued to confront the 25-year-old.
Williams claimed that the other man kept goading him so he pulled the plastic casing off the wall in frustration.
Prosecutor Joanne Hesse told Hartlepool Magistrates Court on Monday: "It was 4am when officers were called to the front desk area of Hartlepool Police station to two males fighting.
"The defendant's face was covered in dried blood and said he'd been assaulted by another man. Officers also noticed that a police information sign had been damaged and the defendant said he'd pulled it off."
She added: "In interview Williams said he'd been assaulted so took refuge in the police station. The other man followed him, however, and continued to confront him. He said he'd pulled the sign off the wall in anger."
Williams, of Welldeck Road, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to criminal damage on January 3.
Mitigating, Martin Scarborough said: "Initially he seemed to be the victim of a crime rather than the perpetrator of one. The damage he did cause was only minor."
Chairman of the bench Keith Fisher fined him 65, ordered him to pay 85 costs and a 15 victim surcharge.