Curfew will stop antiques dealer watching Burnley FC matches

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AN antique dealer gave a police officer a bloody nose and left him in pain after he was locked up following a drinking session, a court heard.

Now Stephen Austin (57) has been given a curfew to stop him going to watch Clarets play on Saturdays and having one too many afterwards. Austin, who has two shops in Burnley, had punched the officer through the cell hatch at the town’s police station, after the victim went to check on his welfare, the town’s magistrates were told.

Austin had been arrested after he was seen “bouncing off the walls, mumbling and spitting” in the early hours of the day after the Burnley v Bolton Wanderers match. The defendant, who has a conviction for similar behaviour in 2010, admitted being drunk and disorderly in Victoria Street, Burnley, and assaulting PC Ian Davison by beating on August 19th.

The defendant, of Rochdale Road, Britannia, Bacup, was given 12 months supervision, with a 12-week curfew, between 12-30 and 11-30pm on Saturdays and 5-30 and 11-30pm on Sundays. It will start on October 6th. Austin must also pay £100 compensation and £55 costs.

Mrs Alex Mann (prosecuting) said Austin had been “in quite a state” when seen about 1-30am. He was unable to walk properly, urinated in the street and was arrested.

The defendant was taken to the police station, officers were concerned he suffered from a heart condition and went to check on his welfare. He was banging on the cell door, PC Davison opened the hatch and asked him what he wanted and he said he wanted his tablets for his back pain.

The officer told Austin it was unlikely the nurse would allow him his tablets when he was still drunk and the defendant threatened to damage the cell. He was told he would be charged with damage and then thrust his clenched fist through the hatch, hitting PC Davison in the nose. The prosecutor said: “He stumbled back, was bleeding for several minutes and was in considerable pain and discomfort.”

Mrs Mann said in December 2010, Austin has been convicted of police assault and being drunk and disorderly.

Mr Jeremy Frain (defending) said he started to panic in the police station, as he had not got his medication. He became frustrated and lashed out. The solicitor continued: “I understand he has apologised personally to the police officer for the injury.”