Soldier punched policeman who arrested his friend on night out in Sunderland

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A SOLDIER punched a policeman when he took exception to his friend being arrested outside a Sunderland bar.

Lewis Longhorn, 19, was out drinking with friends on December 29, in the city centre when he got into trouble, Sunderland magistrates heard.

He struggles with the two officers, saying ‘do you want me to nut you?’

Prosecutor Paul Anderson said two police officers attended Holmeside in the city centre at 12.45am and arrested one of Longhorn’s friends inside a takeaway, after an unrelated incident.

“He takes exception to that and grabs hold of one of the officer’s hands, holding onto his handcuffs,” Mr Anderson said.

“He struggles with the two officers, saying ‘do you want me to nut you’ and prevents the officer from leaving the shop, once in the street he grabs them from behind and is forced away by one of the officers.

“Mr Longhorn then gets arrested which doesn’t help his demeanour. He strikes a blow to the left side of the officer’s face causing an injury to the soft tissue, with swelling and bruising to the eye socket area.”

In interview, he told police he had been out drinking with friends when one of them got arrested, he said, having done nothing wrong.

He denied getting involved until he was shown the CCTV footage, then accepted hitting the officer, although he said it was accidental and not an assault.

Longhorn, of Witherwack, later admitted obstructing a police officer and assaulting a police officer.

Dan Pygall, defending, said: “It is what it is. He is agitated, he’s clearly drunk and he starts arguing with an officer. It is surprising he didn’t get arrested earlier than he was.

“He says he hit the officer by accident. Fortunately, he didn’t suffer a serious injury. It was some bruising to the cheek area.”

Longhorn, a guardsman, was described as having a long military career ahead of him according to his commanding officer for the 1st Battallion the Coldstream Guards.

He will now be punished by the army for bringing it into disrepute.

“Coming to court has not been a pleasant experience,” Mr Pygall added.

“He is clearly remorseful for his actions. He can only put it down to the fact that he was drunk at the time. He is a young man, who has come home on leave, and met up with his friends and got drunk.”

Longhorn was fined £420, with a £42 victim surcharge, £85 costs and £100 compensation to the officer he hit.