One-legged man fined over abuse

Michael Casey man who rode bike into hole on the former steetley site. Copy by FRANK REID. IRN
Michael Casey man who rode bike into hole on the former steetley site. Copy by FRANK REID. IRN

A MAN who had his leg amputated after falling in a pothole at a former chemical site has been slapped with a hefty court bill for being abusive on a night out.

Michael Casey, who lost the limb after sustaining multiple fractures at the former Steetley chemical site, had been out drinking in the town centre.

Michael Casey man who rode bike into hole on the former steetley site. Copy by FRANK REID. IRN

Michael Casey man who rode bike into hole on the former steetley site. Copy by FRANK REID. IRN

But as he made his way home, a group of people began making fun out of his missing leg and he got angry, Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court was told.

Passing policemen saw the 29-year-old standing in the middle of York Road and approached him and led him onto the pavement.

But prosecutor Lilian Atkinson said that no sooner had the officers started to walk away, Casey returned to the centre of the carriageway to hurl more abuse at the group.

Then when police returned to Casey, he re-directed his verbal assault to them saying: “If I didn’t have this leg missing I’d knock you out,” Mrs Atkinson told justices.

Casey, of Warren Road, Hartlepool, who appeared in court in custody and on crutches, pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly on April 7.

Mitigating, Neil Taylor said: “My client is disabled due to losing the lower part of one of his legs. He’d been out for a couple of drinks and was quite normally wandering home, and it wouldn’t have been at any great pace because of his disability.

“A group of people decided to make some fun out of him as he was wandering along so he became angry and started to shout back.

“He became angry with the police because he hadn’t done anybody any harm or done anything wrong. The police assumed it was the disabled man causing the trouble rather than a group of people who were verbally abusing him.”

Chairman of the bench Maureen Davison fined Casey £65, ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Magistrates also fined him £100 for failing to attend court shortly after the April 7 offence, leaving him with a total of £265 to pay.

The offence came four months after Casey spent two hours trapped in the pothole in excruciating pain and in freezing conditions after he came off his bike in the pitch dark at the Steetley site, off Old Cemetery Road.

He was eventually rescued and flown to hospital but despite desperate attempts to save it medics had to amputate his left leg above the knee in an eight-hour operation.