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Drink-driver lashed at two police officers during arrest

A MAN who realised he was being stupid for driving after drinking stopped in the next street but not before the police had seen him.

Blackburn magistrates heard Joss Cunningham then assaulted two police officers although it was accepted the assaults were reckless rather than deliberate.

Cunningham, 32, of Albert Street, Burnley, pleaded guilty to two charges of assaulting an emergency worker and driving with excess alcohol. He was made subject to a community order for 18 months with 40 hours unpaid work and 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement and a condition he attend the thinking skills programme. He was ordered to pay £50 compensation to each officer and fined £120 with £100 costs and £90 victim surcharge. He was banned from driving for 14 months.

Andy Robinson, prosecuting, said police were called to a report of a domestic incident though nothing had come of that. While they were making inquiries Cunningham left in a car.

“They saw it in the next street and as they approached he tried to drive off before being boxed in by a police vehicle,” said Mr Robinson.

“He was arrested and put in the back of a van at which point he tried to make off.

“As the officers tried to restrain him he caught one officer on the elbow and another in the face. It is accepted he was lashing out and the assaults were reckless.”

John Didsbury, defending, said when he was placed in the back of the police van his client had panicked.

“He jumped out with the foolish notion of getting away from the situation he was in,” said Mr Didsbury.

He said Cunningham had been invited round to his former girlfriends and they had a few drinks.

“At that stage he had no intention of driving,” said Mr Didsbury.

“An argument developed and he left. Very soon after getting into his car he realised he was being stupid and he stopped the vehicle in the next street. That is when the police arrived.”

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