Cost of ignoring police

A MAN has been left with a £160 court bill after refusing to leave a nightspot on the orders of police.

Philip Howard, 42, admitted failing to comply with a police direction to leave Victoria Road, in Hartlepool.

The chairman of the magistrates’ bench at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court, Christine Mulgrew, fined him £60, with £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge to pay.

She told Howard: “Next time a police officer tells you to leave it will be cheaper to do so.”

The court heard Howard had been issued with the notice at 1.30am on May 13 following reports he had been argumentative and bumping into people in Yates’s bar.

Prosecutor Joanne Hesse said: “Police described him as being drunk.  “He became abusive and when told to leave the area, he swore and said ‘I’m home’.”

Magistrates were told that Howard then sat in a bus stop and after being told he could be arrested, he got up and walked into the Skyy Lounge bar, where he was arrested.

The court heard how Howard dropped to the floor and kicked out at the side door of a police van and continued to struggle and verbally abuse the officers.

Representing himself, Howard, of Fieldfare Road, Hartlepool, said the prosector gave “fair comment” and added: “I just want to apologise.”