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Police say “no excuse” for violence after men sentenced for assaults on officers

Mark Christopher Batty, who admitted assaulting five police officers in Kendal

CUMBRIA police say there is “no excuse” for violence against its staff after two men were sentenced for assaulting officers during separate incidents in two county towns.

Carlisle Crown Court heard today (THURS) how Mark Christopher Batty lashed out in Highgate, Kendal, after attempts were made to arrest him at around 9-15pm on November 15.

Initially, intoxicated Batty grabbed hold of a police vehicle and spat out at officers. He then struck one sergeant with his knee and kicked a PC in the lower leg. When two other constables went to help, the 28-year-old stood on the foot of one and kicked both.

Later, when arrested and placed straight into a cell, Batty punched a custody sergeant twice in the chest, refusing to remove his clothes and allow a “safety suit” to be fitted.

A self-confessed alcoholic, Batty later admitted five emergency worker assault charges, and was said to have suffered a “relapse” at the time of the incident. He had since expressed his shame and bitter regret, and a desire to continue tackling his problems having been sober for more than three months.

Recorder Eric Lamb suspended a five-month prison sentence for a year and imposed 20 days’ rehabilitation. He told Batty, of no fixed address, his assaults on the officers had been “deliberate, determined, pre-mediated and sustained”, but concluded there was a “realistic prospect of rehabilitation”.

Earlier, Recorder Lamb had also sentenced Neil Thompson, a 54-year-old Workington man who assaulted two female PCs as attempts were made to arrest him for obstruction at his Casson Road home in Workington on the night September 26.

As he turned aggressive, Thompson shoved one hard and grabbed the other’s arm while telling them: “I don’t give a monkey’s, I’m going nowhere.”

Thompson, a self-employed taxi driver, had apologised soon after the incident and was said to be “very ashamed” of his offending. After admitting two emergency worker assaults, he had a four-month jail term suspended for a year.

Speaking after the two court hearings, a Cumbria Constabulary spokesman said: “Our officers and staff work incredibly hard to keep people in Cumbria safe and there is absolutely no excuse for any of them to be assaulted.

“When investigating an assault, including those on police officers, the constabulary will always seek to work in collaboration with the Crown Prosecution Service to determine the appropriate charges.”

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