Man jailed for assaulting police officer who asked why he was outside


An ‘immature and foolish’ man has been jailed for attacking a police officer who questioned him about being outside during the coronavirus pandemic.

Jack Kent, 20, was spotted walking on Rochdale Road, in Blackley, by officers investigating another incident at 9.20pm on March 25. They shone their headlights at him before approaching to question him about their case and why he was not in lockdown.

Kent then ran from the scene, sparking a ‘short chase’, which resulted in officers placing him in handcuffs as he shouted, ‘get the f**k off me’, Manchester Magistrates’ court heard.

He then kicked out at the police twice as they tried to get him into a police van, hitting one of them in the leg twice.

Prosecutor Martha Dowd told the court: ‘[Kent] was acting suspiciously when seeing the police car and he was evasive.

‘[Officers] were also looking to speak to him about why he was out, considering the current circumstances, as it was 9.20pm. They were going to stop him and ask why he was out due to the restrictions of Covid-19 last set out.’

She continued: ‘He refused to get in the van and then kicked out twice and made
contact with the officer’s right leg and left shin.

‘The officer then shouted “get on the floor now” as they were going to
restrain him to prevent further injury. He refused to get down and tried kicking the officer one more time.’

It was the second time Kent had been arrested in a matter of weeks, after police were called to a homeless shelter at Christchurch Baptist Church where he had been staying.

Staff told officers they’d heard allegations of Kent owning a knife and had asked him to leave, causing him to become ‘abusive, shouting and swearing and provoking violence’, the court heard.

When police intervened, Kent lashed out and was restrained to the floor. The officers then searched him and found a TFGM bus pass belonging to one of his friend’s hidden in his pocket.

He had used the pass to travel on the Metrolink between February 21 and March 7, the court heard.

Appearing in court, Kent pleaded guilty to assault by beating of an emergency worker. He also admitted using threatening words to cause alarm or distress
and fraud by false representation.

The court heard Kent had six previous convictions, including four offences of assault by beating of an emergency worker in 2019. He spent four months in a young offenders institution as a result.

Kent’s defence lawyer Andrew Gilmore stated that he lacked maturity and has ‘poor consequential thinking skills’, causing him to also ‘react badly’ to authority.

He continued: ‘This is one opportunity to find the good in Mr Kent and to take
advantage of what’s being offered by the probation to put this immature and foolish behaviour behind him and square up to responsibilities as a man and an adult.’

District Judge John Temperley sentenced Kent to 20 weeks in prison, telling him that the offences were ‘made more serious’ by his record.

He said: ‘These offences are so serious that only immediate imprisonment will suffice.’