Burnley man told he could be facing prison after throwing coffee in policeman's face

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

An attacker who hurled coffee in a “brave” police officer’s face, as he tried to protect the man’s solicitor from him, could end up in jail

Warren Hamer (40) struck when he was in custody and had become aggressive. His lawyer, John Rusius, had tried to get him to calm down, the defendant started gritting his teeth and the officer had moved in front of the lawyer, a judge was told.

Prosecutor Mr Carl Gaffney told Burnley Magistrates’ Court: "The officer was concerned the defendant would become physically violent. He did not want Mr Rusius being injured. The officer is trying to assist Mr Rusius and nothing else.”

Mr Gaffney said the custody sergeant advised the officer to put the defendant back in a cell until he calmed down.

The prosecutor continued: "The officer was about six to eight feet away, directly in front of him. He started to raise his right hand. He had a polystyrene cup in his hand and threw the contents of the entire cup towards him.”

Mr Gaffney said the liquid went in the officer’s eyes, his hair and all over his tunic and stab vest. He added: "There’s a whiff of humiliation.”

Hamer, of Wordsworth Street, Burnley, admitted assault by beating of an emergency worker and driving without a licence and insurance.

District Judge James Clarke adjourned the case until November 29thth, for an all options open pre-sentence report.

He warned the defendant: "Assault on a police officer is taken seriously. If you throw a cup of coffee in the face of a police officer you are at risk of going to prison.”