Drunken reveller threatened to ‘choke’ police officer in early hours of New Year’s Day

Sunderland Magistrates' Court

Sunderland Magistrates' Court

A man threatened to “choke” a police officer during a drunken rant in the early hours of New Year’s Day after wrongly thinking he had been arrested.

Jon Ross Edwards had been out with pals as they looked to ring in 2017.

Police on duty in the Hetton area spotted the 23-year-old walking in Front Street.

After trying to help Edwards, he ended up thinking he had been arrested by the officers and lashed out at them, threatening violence.

At a hearing at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court, prosecutor Jeanette Smith said: “The officers were on duty in the early hours of January and saw the defendant on Hetton Front Street, drunk.

“He stated that he had no place to go.

“They (the officers) helped him to their police vehicle and he was initially pleasant, but then his mood changed.”

Ms Smith told the court that Edwards started to bang on the back of the police van.

“He continued to lash out and said ‘I will choke you’ to one of the officers.

“He opened the rear door and raised his legs towards the officer and continued to kick out, narrowly missing him.”

Edwards then grabbed one of the officers’ batons before having to be restrained.

After being arrested, Edwards said in interview that he suffers from memory loss and believed his drink may have been spiked while he was out.

Edwards, of Neville’s Court, in Washington, who has six previous convictions, admitted using threatening behaviour with intent to provoke unlawful violence and obstructing a police officer.

Phillipa Wylie, defending, told the court: “Mr Edwards had been out with his friends and had a lot to drink.

“He is very ashamed of his behaviour.”

District judge Roger Elsey handed Edwards a £200 fine and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.