A Sellafield worker hit a man at a taxi rank after police broke up an earlier fight.

Workington Magistrates Court heard there had been an incident in the early hours of March 19 where a fight had broken out in Whitehaven. 

Police had intervened and the men involved were told to go home. Officers on patrol noticed Gavin Maudling stood at the taxi rank at about 2.50am.

Maudling, 34, of Whinlatter Road, Whitehaven, turned round and punched the man behind him "with force", causing him to fall to the ground.

Pamela Fee, prosecuting, said officers went over and grabbed Maudling while another officer checked on the welfare of the man. 

They spoke to him but he didn't wish to provide any details.

Maudling was taken to the police station. He was interviewed and admitted assault but said it was done in self defence. 

The defendant said he had been assaulted earlier in the night by a group of males. He said he had been having banter but then it turned violent. 

He said he had been out drinking with his two brothers and had drank as many as 10 pints. He initially stated he had done nothing to the man then said he was "slavering behind him". 

John Cooper, defending, said Maudling had been out in Whitehaven and doesn't go out regularly.

He had become separated from his brothers and had been attacked. Police became involved and sent everyone in different directions.

Mr Cooper said Maudling had been on his way to get a taxi and his memory is "being followed". 

Comments were made and Maudling turned round and hit the man.

Mr Cooper said the defendant accepted that it wasn't self defence.

Maudling, who works at Sellafield, pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive, insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear of or provoke unlawful violence.

He was given a community order with a four-week curfew, to run daily from 7pm to 6am.

The defendant must also pay £85 costs and a £95 victim surcharge.