Lowestoft College staff member assaulted police

A FORMER lifeboatman was this week told to pay nearly �500 in fines and compensation after he assaulted two police officers in front of his wife and 10-year-old daughter on Christmas Day.

Malcolm Horton, 52, had drunk six bottles of alcohol before he abused the officers, kicked one and wrenched back the other's thumb.

On Tuesday, Horton, of Maidstone Road, Lowestoft, pleaded guilty to two assault charges and one of being drunk and disorderly in Trafalgar Street when he appeared before town magistrates.

Horton, who had been a lifeboatman with 19 years of service, will now face a disciplinary hearing at Lowes-toft College, where he works as a technician in the mari-time training department.

Colette Griffiths, prose-cuting, told the court that at 1.05am on Christmas Day police officers went to an alley near Trafalgar Street where Horton was with his wife and daughter. Horton was swearing at his wife as she had got her heel stuck in a drain.

When told to stop swearing, Horton turned on the officers, saying: 'What has it got to do with you? She's my wife and my daughter – I can say what I like.' He then swore at the officers.

As the policemen tried to detain Horton, he kicked one on the knee and wrenched the other's thumb back.

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The court heard that Horton, who also worked as volunteer with the sea cadets, had acted totally out of character and had apologised to the police when he was released from custody at 10am the same day.

A reference from the college described Horton as hard working and reliable.

Calvin Saker, for Horton, said: 'He cannot begin to explain how he behaved. He has never acted like that before.'

Horton was fined �200 for each of the assaults and was fined �80 for being drunk and disorderly in a public place. He was told to pay �100 in compensation to each officer.

District judge David Cooper said: 'What a disgraceful way to spend Christmas. You have let yourself down, you have let your family down. I have no reason to believe this will happen again.'

Judge Cooper said he hoped the college would not take any disciplinary action as appearing in court was punishment enough.