Spared jail for police assault

A 26-YEAR-OLD from Eastwood was given a suspended prison sentence, tagged for three months and put on a supervision programme after bumping a taxi and assaulting a police officer.

Liam Meenam, who lives in Victoria Street, hid in a garden after running off from the taxi, and then pushed a police officer to the ground injuring her knee when he was eventually found.

Meenam, who battles with drink and drugs, ordered for a taxi to take him to Ilkeston when the offences took place back in September.

When he arrived, he jumped out telling the cab driver he would be two minutes, but did not return.

A resident saw him hiding in his garden, and rang police worried he was about to burgle his house.

Derby Magistrates’ Court heard on Monday that when officers tried to arrest him, he pushed Pc Nicola Roberts to the ground and ran off.

Prosecution barrister Alistair David said: “As officers tried to handcuff him he became aggressive. He broke free of the grasp and pushed Pc Roberts causing her to fall and hit her knee on a lamp post.”

Meenam ran off and a police helicopter was called out. When he was found, he denied assaulting the officer, the court heard.

But defence solicitor John Last said drink and drugs ‘clouded’ his memory leading him to change his plea to guilty moments before Monday’s trial after realising officers would not ‘fabricate’ the story.

“At the time of the offence he said his use of drink and drugs affected his memory,” said Mr Last. “He pleads guilty because he accepts that its highly unlikely a police officer would fabricate evidence against him.”

He added: “The drink and drugs is a major concern to him at the moment. He wants to nip in the bud at the earliest opportunity what he acknowledges is a growing problem.”

Meenam was also fined £150 court costs, £200 compensation to the officer and made to pay his £12.40 taxi fare.

His 12-month probation order will include an alcohol treatment programme for six months and his tag means he will be unable to leave home between 7pm and 7am.

The court heard he had eight previous convictions for 11 offences, the last one being three years ago.

Pc Roberts was left with cuts and bruises and swelling to her knee which left her unable to work for two days.