‘Reckless’ man who assaulted female police officer spared jail
PUBLISHED: 09:18 12 April 2013 | UPDATED: 09:27 12 April 2013
A MAN who elbowed a female police officer in the face, leaving her in need of hospital treatment, left his victim “shocked and tearful”, a court has heard.
“Reckless” Martin Beveridge, of Westfield, WGC, was spared jail, but instead given a 20 month community order and a £245 fine at a hearing on Friday.
St Albans Magistrates Court heard that an X-ray of injured PC Angela Wilcox revealed an abrasion on her right eye socket.
The assault happened after Beveridge, 39, was spotted stealing a £1.80 can of beer from the Co-op in Bishops Rise, Hatfield, on November 6 last year.
The father-of-two, was already on a conditional discharge for stealing £27 worth of items from Waitrose.
After police were called, Beveridge attempted to flee, and tried to climb over a fence.
Andy Hobdell, representing Beveridge, said: “She [the police officer] chased after him and he got on top of a wheelie bin and tried to get over a fence.
“She was elbowed in the face trying to get him down and then fell to the ground.”
The police woman was then taken to the QE2 Hospital.
Beveridge admitted the assault, and one charge of theft.
Jacqueline Lyon, prosecuting, said: “Her face was extremely sore after the incident and she was left shocked and tearful.”
Alison Munro, chairman of the bench, ordered Beveridge to pay £245 in fines, £100 of which will be given to the victim.
He will also serve two 20 month community orders, one for the assault and one for the conditional discharge he broke committing the offence, which will run concurrently.
Mrs Munro said he must also attend several drug rehabilitation programs.
Mrs Munro called Beveridge “reckless” when he assaulted the officer and that he had a “long list of offending”.
She said: “I am not sending you to prison today because if you had gone to prison you would have come out again without any help.”
Beveridge said: “I really do respect the law, if I come before you again then chuck away the key.”
Dave Wheatley, chief inspector for Welwyn Hatfield, said: “Thankfully PC Wilcox is fully recovered from the assault.
“However, this is a stark reminder of the dangers my officers face on a daily basis.
“Fortunately the majority of offenders who assault police are arrested and charged, and will face the consequences of their actions through the judicial system.”
Last month, the WHT revealed 66 alleged assaults on police officers had been reported in Welwyn Hatfield and Potters Bar between February 2012 and January 2013.
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