'Merry peacemaker' fined

A "MERRY" reveller claimed he was calming a situation when he tried to separate his girlfriend from an arresting police officer.

Paul McKie had been drinking in The Vault, in Whitby Street, Hartlepool, and left the pub to find his partner being escorted away by police, justices heard.

The 26-year-old stepped in and became verbally abusive, grabbing hold of his girlfriend's arm.

Despite being warned, McKie's behaviour continued and he was arrested for being drunk and disorderly.

Prosecutor Joanne Hesse told Hartlepool Magistrates' Court: "It was 1.25am on Sunday, January 9, and the defendant was in The Vault public house where he was quite drunk.

"Officers attended the area outside the pub to deal with a drunken woman.

"Due to her behaviour she was arrested for being drunk and disorderly and as she was being escorted away this defendant became verbally abusive and tried to get in between the arresting officer and the woman.

"He was warned but grabbed the woman's arm and continued being verbally abusive.

"He was arrested for being drunk and disorderly.

"The woman who was arrested received a fixed penalty notice by police."

McKie, of Grange Road, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly in Whitby Street.

Mitigating, David Smith said: "He accepts he had a few beers and was at the time what you would call merry.

"His intentions were honourable and he did intend to be the peacemaker."

Chairman of the bench Nigel Guerin fined McKie 30, ordered him to pay 85 costs and a 15 victim surcharge.