City Watch

MAN WHO HEAD-BUTTED POLICE OFFICER AVOIDS PRISON SENTENCE


A man who head-butted a police sergeant in the face, leaving him needing hospital treatment, has been given a suspended prison sentence. Judge Nicholas Dean acknowledged he was "lenient" as he sentenced Robert Ritchie to a suspended four-month sentence with 100 hours of unpaid work.

The police sergeant had gone to Ritchie's home in St James's Road, Stoneygate, Leicester, while investigating an earlier fight in the street. Leicester Crown Court heard that the police officer was knocked to the floor by the head-butt and was bleeding from his face.

Prosecutor Victoria Rose told the court: "On June 1 last year officers received a report there were males fighting on the street. They spoke to a male who identified the defendant as someone who had been involved. When they attended the defendant's address that male was with the police officers and his presence somewhat aggravated the situation. The defendant was abusive towards the officers. He went into his home, shut the door and then came back and he lunged at the officer and head-butted him. The officers described how he made contact with the left side of his face above the eye socket. He felt immense pain and fell to the floor while the other officers restrained the defendant. He noticed his hands were covered in blood when he put them to his face. He attended Leicester Royal Infirmary. He had severe bruising so his eye wouldn't open and he was in a great deal of pain."

She said the defendant, who was found to be in possession of cannabis, was later put in a police cell where he smeared excrement over the cell. Ritchie later admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm, criminal damage and possessing 30g of cannabis and at an earlier hearing Judge Dean said an immediate prison sentence was not necessary.
Judge Dean told Ritchie (28), who has previous convictions: "Mr Ritchie you may consider yourself fortunate the indication I gave you was lenient. If you assault police officers you can expect to go to prison and you can understand that as well as anybody given your record. I hope you will keep out of trouble during the course of the suspended sentence."

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Pictures by Louise Kelham Photography

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