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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Dalton man headbutted special constable in face as ‘revenge’

A DALTON man headbutted a special constable in the face as revenge for trying to break up an argument involving his friend.

Jason Thompson, 22, of Cavendish Street, was found guilty of attacking Matthew Simpson, now a serving police officer, in the early hours of August 11 outside The Wellington Pub, in Market Street, Dalton.

The assault left Mr Simpson with a burst upper lip, which required stitches at Furness General Hospital.

Furness Magistrates’ Court heard that Thompson had joined his friend, James Montague, 22, on a search of local pubs to find the then off-duty special constable.

Mr Simpson had earlier told Mr Montague to calm down after he had argued in the street with another friend. Mr Montague swung a punch at Mr Simpson and then came “back for a second go” with Thompson.

Mr Ian Dacre, prosecuting, said Thompson found Mr Simpson sat inside The Wellington just after midnight. He tapped on the window and gestured Mr Simpson to come outside, where he then headbutted him.

Mr Dacre said: “The attack was unprovoked and it left Mr Simpson needing hospital treatment.”

Mr Simpson was in the pub with his girlfriend, Heather Collinge, and her work colleagues from FGH.

Giving evidence, Mr Simpson said: “As I went outside, [Thompson], who I didn’t recognise, was aggressive towards me. I said ‘go home, I don’t want any trouble’ and then he came up towards me and headbutted me. I pushed him away as quick as I could with my arms.”

The court heard that Mr Simpson had earlier told Mr Montague to “sober up”, after witnessing an argument between him and another friend in Market Street.

It was this that caused Mr Montague to seek “revenge”, along with Thompson, according to the prosecution.

Thompson was represented by Mr Sean Harkin at yesterday’s trial but decided not to give evidence.

Thompson was sentenced to serve 100 hours of unpaid work in the community.

He was also ordered to pay £600 court costs, a £60 victim surcharge and compensation to Mr Simpson for his injuries of £100.

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