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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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Thug ordered off-duty policeman out of car in Carlisle

An off-duty policeman feared he was about to be assaulted and have his car stolen when a thug threatened him.

The officer had pulled over on one of Carlisle’s busiest roads when a man appeared and ordered him out of the car.

Carl Smith, 28, of Shadygrove Road, Raffles, pleaded guilty to affray when he appeared at crown court.

The court heard that on Friday, October 4 last year the off-duty policeman was driving along Warwick Road when he pulled into a gravelly area to make a phone call.

He then heard somebody trying to open the driver’s side door handle and saw Smith.

Tim Evans, prosecuting, said: “Smith said, ‘Get out of the car or I’m going to take it off you’.”

The officer drove away as quickly as he could because he thought Smith was going to smash his window.

“He was shocked and in the honest fear that if he hadn’t driven away or locked his door then there would have been an assault or the car would be taken,” Mr Evans said.

Smith then wandered off along Warwick Road before being arrested.

Officers noted that he smelled strongly of alcohol and it later transpired that Smith had spent the evening at a pub on Botchergate.

Andrew Ford, defending, said that Smith was taking medication due to injuries sustained when he was the victim of an assault in 2011.

Mr Ford said: “The defendant sought treatment for an injury a long time ago and that treatment continues.

“This would have been very frightening for the officer and the car would have been of no use to him.

“He doesn’t seek to explain the incident and says he is sorry.”

Judge Peter Hughes QC told Smith that he had narrowly avoided a prison sentence.

He said: “I do not know what possibly possessed you to behave the way that you did.

“You are extremely fortunate that this matter has been dealt with as affray and not robbery.”

Smith was given a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, a two-year supervision order and ordered to pay £60 compensation to the victim.

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