Toilet lock-in assault

Blackpool Magistrates Court
Blackpool Magistrates Court
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POLICE fired pepper spray through the gaps around an outside toilet door to try to immobilise a man who had locked himself inside.

Mark Rawcliffe refused to come out of the lavatory at a house in Freckleton when police called at the house as a result of a domestic incident.

Blackpool magistrates heard how Rawcliffe eventually came out but then assaulted PC Natalie Birch and Sgt Paul Gabbitas.

The Kirkham officers suffered hand and shoulder injuries as they struggled to get handcuffs on 24-year-old Rawcliffe of Victory Road, Blackpool.

Rawcliffe admitted the assaults when he appeared before Blackpool Magistrates Court.

They fined the unemployed defendant £35 for each assault and ordered him to pay compensation of £50 to each officer and pay £85 court costs.

Adrian Hollamby, prosecuting, told the court: “Rawcliffe locked himself in the outside toilet and when he came out there was quite a violent struggle.”

Robert Castle, defending, said: “It was my client who was injured in a domestic incident.

“He was so upset he locked himself in the toilet. He has expressed his remorse for what he did and wishes to apologise to the two officers.”