Soldier broke free from handcuffs after allegedly touching up drinkers in a bar

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A SOLDIER managed to break free from his handcuffs after he was kicked out of a Durham City bar after allegedly touching up fellow drinkers.

Richard Ross, a sergeant with the Royal Signals regiment, refused to leave the area after he was ejected from the Bishops Mill pub at 5am on January 5.

The 30-year-old struggled with officers – while repeatedly telling them that he was in the Army – and had to be brought to the ground before being handcuffed and placed in the back of a police van, Peterlee magistrates heard.

Prosecutor Vicky Wilson said that when officers attended the Walkergate pub their attention was drawn to Ross, who “made no sense” when speaking to them.

“He had been ejected following claims he had been touching people on their backside,” Ms Wilson said.

“He kept telling them he was in the British Army and wanted to go back into the pub with his friends.” Ross, who the court was told has been in the army for 13 years and has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, refused to comply with a notice to leave the area and made a lewd comment to a passing female.

He then became abusive towards police when they tried to escort him to a nearby taxi rank and was arrested.

“He was trying to fight the officers and was placed in the van with difficulty.

“He was screaming. He managed to get his right hand out of the cuff,” Ms Wilson said.

“When he was removed from the van, he kept saying he was in the British Army and in the regiment.

“He threw himself against the wall. He was asked to remove his property from his pocket, but refused to do that.

“He was aggressive and violent towards the custody sergeant and had to be taken to a cell straight away, but fell to the floor, saying he was in pain. He had to be carried to the cell, and it carried on in that vein.”

Ross, of Durham Terrace, Durham, pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly and resisting a police officer.

Jaxon Taylor, defending, said: “We have heard the explanation as to why, but he very much disputes this. There was an altercation in the men’s toilets which he witnessed.

“Security and bar staff ejected all the persons present. He says he was a witness to the assault and wanted to give an explanation that the male assailant was still in the pub. He accepts he had far too much to drink and wasn’t making much sense.”

Ross’s commanding officer, Captain Toby Rose, told the court his service had until now been “unblemished” and that the incident was “wholly out of character”, and added that he will be subject to disciplinary procedures.

Magistrates fined him £320, told him to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.