Businessman's double assault shame

A WELL-KNOWN businessman punched and head-butted a publican before kicking a police officer in the face as he tried to arrest him after a lengthy drinking session, a court heard.

By David Lennard

A WELL-KNOWN businessman punched and head-butted a publican before kicking a police officer in the face as he tried to arrest him after a lengthy drinking session, a court heard.

Hugh Leeper, 49, of Albert Place, Framlingham, pleaded guilty to assaulting publican Chad Hurn and Pc Paul Rose on Friday, December 23, 2005, when he appeared before Lowestoft magistrates yesterday.

He was sentenced to six weeks' imprisonment for each assault with the sentences to run concurrently, but the prison sentences were suspended for 12 months.


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Leeper was also ordered to pay Mr Hurn £400 compensation, Pc Rose £100 compensation and pay £90 prosecution costs.

He was also banned from the Crown and Anchor and the Castle public houses in Framlingham for 12 months.

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Naomi Turner, prosecuting, said Leeper had been drinking in the Castle public house at about 8.15pm on December 23 when he told his companions he had lost his glasses.

She said Mr Hurn went to Leeper and told him that if they found the glasses he would make sure they were returned to him.

“For some reason he was not satisfied with this and punched and head-butted Mr Hurn,” said Mrs Turner.

The police were called and found Leeper outside the Castle public house where he was arrested on suspicion of assault.

“As he was being placed in the police van he lashed out with his feet and kicked Pc Rose in the face,” said Mrs Turner.

By the time Leeper had reached Lowestoft police station he was “calm and compliant” and was of no further trouble to officers, she said.

James Hartley, mitigating on behalf of Leeper, said the offences were an “enigma” to the businessman as he could remember nothing of the incidents.

“These offences are completely out of character and Mr Leeper cannot remember anything of the events at the Castle public house.

“In fact he has had to be told what happened and all he remembers is coming round at the police station,” said Mr Hartley.

The offences happened on the day that Leeper had been drinking with friends since about noon as his company closed for the Christmas break.

Mr Hartley said Leeper was a respected businessman in Framlingham who ran his own swimming pool services company that employed five people full-time and was well known for helping charities and other organisations in the area.

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