Police officer kicked in the groin after trouble breaks out over children playing with ball in Sunderland street

A police officer was kicked in the groin after trouble broke out over children playing with a ball in a Sunderland street.

Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 6:41 pm
The case was dealt with at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.
The case was dealt with at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Leslie Paul Howe, 43, lashed out at the officer after the dispute broke out between neighbours in The Crescent, Sunderland, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.

Howe, who lives in the street, admitted one charge of assaulting an emergency worker.

Oriana Frame, prosecuting, said police were called to a disturbance in the evening of August 3, and found the defendant outside his property with a number of neighbours looking on.

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She said he was shouting and swearing and became verbally abusive.

As he was being placed in the back of the police car he kicked one of the officers hard in the groin area.

Neil Hodgson, defending, said the incident followed on from an earlier dispute that afternoon, which began when the defendant’s son and grandson were playing football in the street and the ball went into someone’s garden.

He said the householder came out and threatened him and his family.

“He said there would be repercussions because he was sick of the ball going into his garden,” Mr Hodgson told the court.

The solicitor said at around 10pm that evening a car pulled up outside the defendant’s house with people known to the neighbour, carrying weapons.

He said: “The other neighbours came out to help Mr Howe and there was a big fracas.”

The solicitor said by the time the police turned up the people in the car had left the scene, but his client was very agitated and worried for the safety of himself and his family and ended up getting arrested for breach of the peace.

He said he lashed out and didn’t mean to injure the police officer.

Mr Hodgson said: “He is very apologetic and full of remorse.”

The solicitor added that two days later Howe’s family home was attacked by bricks being thrown at it.

Howe was given a 12 month community order and told to pay compensation of £100, costs of £85 and a surcharge of £90.