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Thug jailed for hitting woman cop in court
11:00am Sunday 25th August 2013 in Local News
A MAN who punched a policewoman in the face in a courtroom has been jailed for four months.
Paul James viciously attacked PC Kelly White and spat at other officers and council officials as he raged about an order barring him and his partner from their council home.
Heroin addict James, 36, hit out at the end of a civil hearing, at Basildon Magistrates’ Court. After his outburst, James was arrested and yesterday, he was back in court, where he admitted assaulting PC White. He also admitted assaulting a custody sergeant at Basildon police station after his arrest.
At the earlier hearing, on Wednesday, the court endorsed a Basildon Council application barring James and girlfriend Sara Penlington from her flat in Clay Hill Road, Basildon, for three months, because of alleged drug dealing.
The ruling is likely to lead to their permanent eviction from the studio flat.
Because of his conduct the previous day, James was marched into the dock by five police officers, wearing helmets with visors, as a precaution against further spitting.
The court was told the previous day, James had leapt up in Courtroom 1 and screamed, “no evidence” when the bench ruled. He then spat in PC White’s face and chest and punched her on the jaw, before being restrained by a PCSO.
He was arrested and taken to the police station where he assaulted the custody sergeant, also spitting in his face as he visited James’s cell.
James also told the sergeant when he got out of custody, he would “go after that blonde one”, referring to PC White.
James’s lawyer John O’Rourke, admitted to the court: “I think this is one occasion of the less said, the better. Mr James admits this wasagratuitous, unwarranted and unnecessary attack.
“The only thing I can say is he was conducting himself in this manner because he had just been told he had lost his home.”
Sentencing James, the chairman of the bench said: “These were disgraceful and appalling assaults on a police officer who was in court, doing her job.
“These are so serious a custodial sentence is the only one justified.”
At the earlier hearing, James and Penlington, 39, were accused of dealing drugs in the communal area of the flats block.
This caused misery for neighbours, shopkeepers and pupils and parents at Kingswood Infant and Junior Schools, opposite the flats.
Penlington and James denied drug dealing, saying the only reason they walked through communal areas several times a day was to check on their laundry and electricity meters and take out bins.
The couple both admitted using heroin, but insisted drugs paraphernalia – foil, spoons and syringes – found in the flat’s communal area, were not theirs.
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