Drink driver headbutted policeman

A DRINK driver who tried to escape arrest because he feared for the welfare of his “beloved” dog then headbutted a police officer outside his Suffolk home, a court has heard.

A DRINK driver who tried to escape arrest because he feared for the welfare of his “beloved” dog then headbutted a police officer outside his Suffolk home, a court has heard.

William Gibson has been warned he could face a prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to four separate charges of assault on the basis of recklessness, drink driving, driving whilst disqualified and driving with no insurance, following the incident in October last year.

The 49-year-old, of Grove Park, Walsham-le-Willows, near Bury St Edmunds, was stopped by Pc Jason Lambourne in the village of Stanton on suspicion of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol.

Gibson was arrested after he failed a roadside breathalyser test, but instead of staying with the officer, he walked back to his Hyundai car and drove to the Shephards Road industrial estate, where he was stopped and informed for a second time he was under arrest, and should stay where he was. But Gibson, who had his pet dog in the car with him, drove away again.


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“Pc Lambourne had contacted colleagues for back-up, and had been joined by another officer,” said prosecutor Gareth Davies, during the hearing at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates Court yesterday.

“The officers followed Mr Gibson in convoy to Mr Gibson's house, where they approached him.

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“They took hold of him and tried to handcuff him. Legs and arms were flailing all over the place and at one point Mr Gibson turned his head and came into contact with Pc Lambourne's face, and he sustained a headbutt to the area of his nose and mouth. Mr Lambourne said he felt pain and discomfort, but he was able to continue with his duties and did not require medical treatment.”

In interview, Gibson, who was found to have 54 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath (the legal limit is 35), said he accepted he was under arrest and admitted leaving the scene, but was concerned about his dog being left in his car.

Sharon Grey, defending, said Gibson had not intended for the assault to take place.

“He admits that he was thrashing around and has no doubt that is when the assault took place,” she said. “As a result of trying to get the dog home he did drive off, but it was done because of his concern about his beloved dog. It was not until he got to the police station that he was told the dog would have been looked after.”

Magistrate Jim Spencer said: “We believe you committed the offence recklessly but there is a risk to the public when you drink and drive.

“We consider that these offences are so serious that we must consider imposing a custodial sentence.”

Gibson has been ordered to reappear before magistrates on April 27.

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