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Man assaulted PC in hotel bust-up
8:00am Saturday 20th October 2012 in News
A GRAYS man who crippled a policewoman when he fought to stop himself being arrested at a hotel has walked free from court.
John Hanly, 46, flipped during a row over plumbing while staying at the hotel in Gloucester and began yelling at staff.
When police were called to the Premier Inn Hotel in Barnwood, PC Catherine Fletcher suffered a spinal fracture as she and three other officers grappled to restrain and arrest the drunken dad-of-three.
Hanly, of Kingsley Walk, who had no previous convictions, admitted assaulting PC Fletcher with intent to resist.
Six months after the incident she is still walking with crutches and it could be three to four years before she fully recovers – if she ever does, Gloucester Crown Court was told.
Judge William Hart sentenced Hanly to 32 weeks in prison, suspended for 15 months, and placed him under a home curfew from 9pm to 6am on days when he is not working as a maintenance fitter.
The judge also ordered him to pay compensation of £7,500 to PC Fletcher, who is from Bristol.
Prosecutor Lisa Hennessy said the incident occurred while Hanly was staying at the hotel on March 22 and flooded his room when the bath overflowed when he left the plug in.
She said: “Staff were arranging to move him to another room when he demanded to know what else they were prepared to do for the inconvenience he had sustained in having to pack and change rooms.
“He was told he was not entitled to anything because it was his fault the room had flooded. Hanly then insisted the hotel plumbing was inadequate and demanded compensation.
“When it was pointed out that, in fact, the hotel should charge him for the damage rather than compensate him, he became confrontational.”
When police arrived, Hanly erupted again.
Mrs Hennessy said: “He began to rant and was shouting about sensors being fitted to plugs and demanding to know why two women had been sent as they knew nothing about plumbing!”
As cops tried to arrest Hanly for being drunk and disorderly, he began fighting with the police.
The court heard how he was a “strong individual” and put up a fierce struggle.
PC Fletcher was kneeling across his legs to stop him kicking out. He was struggling so forcefully that he managed to unbalance the officers and in the melee the other officers fell on her left leg.
Hanly told police he “probably had too much to drink” but said the police officers hadn't seen his point about the plumbing and he got frustrated.
He said he had not wanted to hurt anyone and he had resisted arrest because he did not want to be restrained.