Man rugby-tackled officer as police tried to send him back to prison

Darren Hilling appeared at Norwich Magistrates' Court. Picture: Denise Bradley.

Darren Hilling appeared at Norwich Magistrates' Court. Picture: Denise Bradley. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A Norwich man rugby-tackled a police officer as a bid was made to arrest him in his home and send him back to prison, a court heard.

Darren Hilling, had been on recall to prison for a serious offence, appeared before Norwich magistrates for assaulting a police officer.

Hilling, 29, whose address was given as HMP Norwich but is formerly of Drayton Road, pleaded guilty to assaulting a police constable and assault with intent to resist arrest.

On Tuesday (October 30), the court heard four police officers attended his home address on October 13 to arrest him on recall to prison for a grievous bodily harm offence in 2011.

Police officers entered his bedroom at 3.40am and found Hilling initially lying on his bed where he was told he was being arrested.

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Prosecutor Victoria Bastock said Hilling then shoulder-barged one officer and lunged himself towards the door, where he slammed another officer in a rugby-tackle manner.

Police described how Hilling had aggressively struggled with officers and held his arms against his chest to avoid being handcuffed.

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Hilling had only become compliant after one officer called for emergency assistance and threw out a Taser.

Ms Bastock said Hilling had a string of similar offences on his record, with 25 previous convictions relating to offences in prison and against police services.

He was last before the court in 2015, for sending malicious communication and possessing an unlawful item in prison.

Pictures of injuries one officer sustained during the struggle, of bruising to the wrist and elbow, were shown to the court.

Anne-Marie Sheridan, mitigating for Hilling, said he had not expected police officers to enter his room in the early hours of the morning, which he'd met with 'shock, surprise and fear'.

She said he rushed to the door and his intention was not to injure any officers, he was acting in a moment of 'flight or fight'.

She added that Hilling had no weapon and there was no premeditation as he did not know police were coming to arrest him.

Chairman of the bench Stan Chapman ordered Hilling to pay £100 compensation to police officer PC Crouch, as well to pay £40 victim surcharge and £30 court costs.

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