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Man head-butted PC during “disgraceful catalogue of loutish behaviour”

The scene of Reay’s violent behaviour in December, 2017: Carlisle’s Bronx bar

A MAN who head-butted a police officer following drunken violence in Carlisle city centre has been spared immediate prison.

John Reay’s offending began after he was refused service in the Bronx bar, Botchergate, in the early hours of December 15 in 2017, because he was “too drunk”.

Reay, 39, “spat” at the barman, was “threatening and abusive”, and punched another member of the public, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

After being subjected to an unprovoked attack himself and injured, he was taken to hospital. But while being escorted from a toilet by two police officers, he head-butted one, PC Christopher Blakey, in the face, causing bleeding, soreness and reddening.

Reay, of High Meadow, Carlisle, admitted affray and an actual bodily harm assault on the officer.

Judge James Adkin heard Reay – a qualified engineer and father-of-three – had been off work on medical grounds at the time of the “out of character” incident, and had “turned to alcohol”. He had been out of trouble for more than a decade, had shown “genuine remorse” and, his barrister suggested, immediate imprisonment would have a huge impact on his family and employment.

After hearing mitigation, and noting Reay’s charity work, Judge Adkin took an “exceptional course”, suspending a 14-month jail term for two years. Reay must complete a six-month night-time curfew, rehabilitation and pay compensation to the PC and the man he attacked.

But Judge Adkin told him of the offending: “On any view it was an utterly disgraceful catalogue of drunken, loutish behaviour.”

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