Labourer squared up to police who arrived to evict him

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A labourer took up a fighting stance when police arrived to eject him from a house.

The occupier of the house in Longscar Walk, Hartlepool, wanted Paul Willingham to leave, Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard.

“It was about 2.20am,” said Alison Howey, prosecuting.

“Police were called to a disturbance, and on arrival found Willingham agitated and aggressive.

“He was asked to leave the property by the officers, but refused to do so, taking up a fighting stance.

“It took four police officers about five minutes to restrain him.”

Willingham, 24 of St Abbs Walk, Hartlepool, admitted obstructing a police officer in the execution of his duty.

John Relton, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Willingham was invited to the house, but there came a time when he became unwelcome.

“Problems started because while he was prepared to leave, he wanted to leave on his own terms.

“He suffered two cracked ribs during the arrest, which the bench may feel is sufficient punishment for this offence.

“Mr Willingham works as a labourer, but that employment has been interrupted by his injury which still causes him pain.”

The magistrates ordered Willingham to pay fines and costs of £265.