A judge has backed a police officer who kicked a late night troublemaker in the face and told the defendant ‘it comes with the territory’.
Matthew Carr was arrested after leaving a fracas outside Fever in Barnstaple and going home to fetch a metal bar, which he used to threaten a police officer.
He only dropped the weapon when the constable, who was part of an armed response unit, drew his taser and ‘red-dotted’ him.
Carr got to his knees but the policeman kicked him over as he tried to reach forward to grab the metal bar again.
The officer aimed for his chest but the kick caught him in the face and caused a small cut on the mouth.
The trouble broke out near Fever nightclub and the police officer intervened after seeing Carr heading back towards the club from Alexandra Road.
Carr, aged 28, of Bedford Street, Barnstaple, denied possession of an offensive weapon but was found guilty by a jury at Exeter Crown Court and jailed for eight months, suspended for a year, and curfewed for eight weeks by Judge David Evans.
Judge Evans told him: “You armed yourself, expecting in all probability some form of trouble.
“Whether or not you knew immediately that the person who confronted you was a police officer, you realised it pretty quickly, yet you were threatening him with a metal bar.
“You were reluctant to comply and you did get a kick in the face and a cut lip.
“That is what comes with this sort of territory; having an offensive weapon, late at night, out on the streets of Barnstaple town centre when police were already dealing with an ongoing situation.”
Ian Graham, prosecuting, said an officer from an armed response unit was called to trouble near the club and Carr man coming round the corner of Alexandra Road with a silvery looking metal pole in his hand.
Carr raised the pole and advanced towards the officer and another man who was stood with him. The officer made eye contact and told him to drop the weapon.
He carried on moving towards him until the officer, who was also carrying a gun, got out his taser and ‘red dotted’ Carr. He responded by dropping the silver rod and going down on one knee.
The officer moved towards him and knocked him over with a ‘foot strike’ after seeing him reaching for the pole again. Other police then restrained him.
Factory worker Carr denied holding the pole at any stage. He said it was already on the pavement when he was confronted by the police officer.
He said he complied with the demand to kneel down and was then kicked in the face by the police officer. He only noticed the metal pole as he was getting up and being arrested.
Richard Crabb, defending, said Carr has a steady job and supports his partner. They have a ten-month-old child and another on the way.