Harrogate man handed 12-week curfew after assaulting three police officers

A Harrogate man who grabbed a PCSO's neck and assaulted two other officers after he was caught street-drinking has been handed a 12-week curfew.

Monday, 25th April 2016, 3:42 pm
Updated Monday, 25th April 2016, 4:48 pm
Police in Harrogate (s)

On January 23, at around 4.15pm, officers were alerted by the Force Control Room to reports of two men urinating and street drinking on Woodbine Terrace.

PCSOs John Allen and Natalie Bridston arrived on the scene to find Daniel Barnett, 32, with a can of beer alongside another man.

However, when the officers asked Barnett to provide his name and address he became aggressive, pushing himself against PCSO Allen and grabbing his neck.

PCSO Bridston attempted to intervene but, during the struggle, Barnett viciously grabbed her wrist before they could finally place him under arrest.

Back-up arrived to assist the PCSO's with the arrest and, as he was being led away by police, Barnett kicked-out and connected with PC Sharon Rawlings, injuring her leg.

At Harrogate Magistrates Court, on Thursday (April 21) Barnett argued he had not been urinating in the street and had only taken one sip of his beer before officers arrived.

However, his probation officer explained that he may have appeared drunk because he had forgotten to take his medication for a pre-existing anxiety problem.

She said: "Mr Barnett felt that his behaviour in this situation was due to a feeling of being unfairly targeted for something he had not done.

"He refused to give his name and, as a result, the situation escalated. But at no point did he intend to harm anyone.

"He is extremely adamant that he had nothing to drink although CCTV has been seen of him drinking in the street.

"Mr Barnett says he may have appeared drunk, however this was because he had been affected by not taking his medication for anxiety."

Barnett, of Dene Park Close, pleaded guilty to assaulting John Allen, Natalie Bridston and Sharon Rawlings but had a charge of failing to give his name and acting in an anti-social manner withdrawn.

Magistrate Michael Jeffries said he took sympathy on Barnett's health issues but said that the court also 'had to protect people doing their jobs'.

Mr Jeffries agreed not to issue a fine considering Barnett's reliance on his benefits but did impose a 12-week 7am-7pm curfew and issued an electronic tag.

He said: "This is an unpleasant situation where you have assaulted three people doing their jobs.

"They are on the front line and are called out to somebody's complaint and they go to see if someone is urinating in the street.

"Up they come and they find themselves being pushed around, your behaviour was bad on that day. You are 32-years-of-age and you have to take your medication

"This is serious enough for a community order. We think the curfew is a serious punishment as you will have to be indoors as the weather is improving in the evenings."

Mr Jeffries also awarded £50 compensation each to PCSO Bridston and PC Rawlings.