Sunderland man punched police officer as he was being handcuffed after downing half a litre of gin

A police officer was punched in the face when he tried to arrest a Sunderland man, a court heard.

Saturday, 28th September 2019, 10:12 am
The case was dealt with in South Shields at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Gavin Joseph Kerr, 41, pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker when he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

Kerr, who lives in the city’s Polton Square, struck the officer as he was putting handcuffs on him on August 30.

Clare Irving, prosecuting, said police were called to Percival Street, shortly after midnight, by Kerr’s former partner in relation to a domestic incident.

She said: “He was aggressive when officers went to talk to him. He was arrested to prevent a breach of the peace.

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“The officer had put one handcuff on and as he tried to put the other handcuff on him he punched the PC in the face.

“The defendant said he couldn’t remember the incident. He had been drinking and had had half a litre of gin.”

Gerald Armstrong, defending, said there had been no violence towards Kerr’s former partner or his brother, who was visiting at the time.

He said his former partner called the police because she needed to get back into the house to get her medication and Kerr had locked the door.

He said: “She said ‘I left the house as I was a bit scared because he was arguing with his brother and there were raised voices. His brother left and Gavin locked himself in the house.

Mr Armstrong said his client had suffered a number of bereavements in quick succession and it all came to a head.

Kerr was given an 18-month community order, fined £80 and told to pay £85 costs, £50 compensation and a £90 victim surcharge.