Man who assaulted Lancaster court guards gets suspended jail term

Two court security officers were assaulted by an angry man at Lancaster Magistrates’ Court, a hearing was told.

Saturday, 11th April 2020, 5:00 pm

Workers Marcus Buchanan and Aaron Brown were threatened and then spat at by defendant Christopher Stuart Hope.

Preston Magistrates’ Court was told Hope, of Laburnum Grove, Lancaster, had attended the building, on George Street, on October 24 last year.

He also ‘cast aside’ the security barrier during the incident.

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Preston Magistrates' Court

The bench imposed an eight week jail term, saying the matters were aggravated by the fact it was a public building where Mr Buchanan and Mr Brown were carrying out their public duties.

However, the court ruled the prison term could be suspended for six months because, when considering Hope’s previous convictions, it was “out of character”.

They ruled he had shown genuine remorse, and he had a limited record for violence.

The 36-year-old was given rehabilitation activity requirement and was ordered to pay £100 compensation to each of his victims.

He was also fined £50 for failing to surrender to custody, but the court did not order any surcharges or costs to be paid.

Assaulting and obstructing court security officers is an offence under the Courts Act 2003, which states anyone guilty of an offence could be liable to a fine or up to six months in prison.

The same act gives court security officers powers to search any person who is in, or seeking to enter, a court building, and powers to exclude, remove or restrain people to refuse a search or to hand over an article to them.