Sunderland man knocked down police officer in what court heard was an 'act of madness'

A prisoner has been fined for knocking over a policeman in what a magistrate called an “act of madness”.

Thursday, 26th December 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Friday, 27th December 2019, 10:53 am

John Smart, 30, of Silksworth Hall Drive, in the Silksworth area of Sunderland, but now serving a jail term for an unrelated offence, knocked Pc David Cowie to the ground after being pulled over on Tuesday, October 29.

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard the act was accidental and the officer suffered no injuries.

Prosecutor Brian Payne said: “Police were called to an incident that subsequently has led nowhere.

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The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

“The suspect was this gentleman.

“They came across him on the road.

“They wanted him to stop, but he didn’t want to stop.

“He was detained and put into a police van.

“Police looked and saw that he was doing something, but they didn’t know what.

“The gentleman was on recall and didn’t want to go to prison.

“When he came out of the van he used enough force to put the officer on the ground.

“The officer accepts that the prisoner didn’t intend to put him on the ground.

“Because of that, it’s a relatively low level offence.

“There’s no injuries complained of.”

Ian Martin, defending, said: “Once he was shown the footage and the nature of the assault, he accepts that he must have come into contact with the officer and was guilty of the offence.

“He was on licence at the time of the arrest.”

The court was told Smart has been recalled to prison, where he is not due for release from his sentence until January 2021.

Dr Alastair Robson, chair of the bench, said: “We give you credit for an early guilty plea.

“This is of the lowest category.

“Because you pushed over a police officer, that aggravates this.

“In total, this act of madness will cost you £279.”

Smart, who pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker in the exercise of his functions, was fined £162 by the magistrates and ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £32 victim surcharge.