Frustrated man assaulted a police officer after he refused to let him in his home

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A frustrated man who has been looking after a drug-troubled friend with cancer assaulted a police officer after he refused to let him into his home.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on February 26, how Lance Pell, 59, of Ringwood Avenue, Staveley, admitted reaching out and making contact with the officer and causing a scratch to his cheek and nose.

Prosecuting solicitor Neil Hollett said: “Police received a report from a nurse trying to attend to administer medication to a cancer patient staying at the premises.”

Mr Hollett added that the nurse had been refused entry by the defendant so the police were called.

The defendant became abusive, according to Mr Hollett, after two officers attended the property and he refused them entry and he told them he would smash the door in their faces.

Mr Hollett added that the officers stepped forward but Pell raised his left hand and struck one of the officers in the face and his fingers caused a scratch down his cheek and nose.

Pell told police that he had told the nurse the patient was not present and he initially denied assaulting the officer.

The defendant, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to assault by beating after the incident on February 6.

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He told the court: “I am sorry. It was out of character.”

Pell added that the patient involved is a heroin addict whom he has looked after for 12 years and he was going to take him to hospital but he left the property.

He claimed that he told the nurse the patient was not at his home and that he had gone back to his old ways and he told police the same when they phoned him.

However, Pell said that soon afterwards police in SWAT clothes were shining torches into his home and were shouting the patient’s name before there was a pounding at the door.

He added that he was “driven to the edge of reason” and was “absolutely wired” when he was told the officers were going to forcibly enter the property.

Pell said: “As soon as I heard that - to my shame - I lost it.”

The defendant admitted putting a finger out and there was a scuffle and he admitted using foul language.

Magistrates, who sympathised with Pell’s circumstances, fined him £200 and ordered him to pay a £30 victim surcharge, £85 costs and £75 compensation.