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Saturday, 26 July 2014

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Barrow man, 35, pushed PC next to stairs

A POLICEMAN “feared for his safety” after being pushed near a flight of stairs, a court heard.

Peter Fones, 35, appeared at Furness Magistrates’ Court on Monday, and pleaded guilty to assaulting PC Andrew Macfarlane at a block of flats in Greengate Street, Barrow.

Mr John Appleby, prosecuting, said PC Macfarlane was called to attend a disturbance at the flats on Saturday, October 13.

When he arrived, he saw several women and two men involved in a scuffle on a stairwell in the building.

Mr Appleby said a fellow officer walked one of the women away from the scene, but PC Macfarlane had to restrain another of the women by pulling her back by the arm.

He then attempted to explain to Fones and another man who was present why he had acted as he did, but Fones swore at the officer and pushed him hard in the chest. Mr Appleby said that the force of the push was hard enough to switch on PC Macfarlane’s chest radio and rip open his torch holder, and forced him to stagger backwards.

“Although the push did not cause injury, the officer said he feared for his safety, and he was worried that he could fall down the stairway,” Mr Appleby said.

The court heard that Fones was clearly intoxicated at the time of the incident.

PC Macfarlane pushed Fones away from the stairwell and arrested him, but Fones kicked out and struck the officer in the knee while he was being placed in a police van.

Mr Trystan Roberts, defending, said Fones has struggled with mental health issues including depression.

He also could not remember what happened, but was said to have been attempting to stop the fight before police arrived, the court heard.

Fones, of School Street, Barrow, pleaded guilty to assaulting PC Macfarlane.

Presiding magistrate Mrs Alison Spurgeon-Dickson sentenced Fones to a 12-month community order involving 150 hours unpaid work, and ordered him to pay court costs of £250 and a victim surcharge of £60.

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