Man who swung 'haymaker' punch at police officer outside Norwich club convicted of assault
PUBLISHED: 08:24 07 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:19 07 June 2018
A man who swung a "haymaker" punch at a police officer which knocked off his helmet days before Christmas has been convicted of assault.
Justin Catchpole, 40, had knocked back four or five pints before getting into a disagreement while standing in the queue outside Revolucion de Cuba in Norwich.
PC Khamees Alothman approached Catchpole and tried to guide him away but was sworn at by the defendant who then tried to hit the officer.
PC Alothman was able to swerve out of the way but the blow sent his helmet “flying”.
Catchpole, of North Walsham Road, Norwich, was arrested following the assault on December 22 last year.
Police body-cam footage was played at Norwich Magistrates Court after Catchpole denied assaulting a police officer.
The footage captures PC Alothman telling Catchpole “I was trying to get you to get away and you went to hit me in the face. That’s nice isn’t it, Merry Christmas.”
Ian Devine, prosecuting, described the blow aimed at the officer as a “haymaker-style punch”.
Giving evidence on Wednesday (June 6) PC Alothman said: “At that time, bearing in mind I was fearful for my own safety, I pushed him towards the wall. My intention was to arrest him.
“He swung with his right hand. I managed, just about, to move my face out of the way. He caught the top of my helmet and sent it flying.
“I was in no doubt if I hadn’t moved out of the way his hand would’ve connected with my face.”
The court heard the defendant had written to the officer to apologise.
But PC Alothman said he did not accept the apology.
He said: “I don’t find it acceptable. I don’t do this job to be assaulted.”
Catchpole told the court he had been going to meet friends in the club but had been the victim of an “unprovoked attack” by a stranger while in the queue.
Ian Fisher, defending, said his client had not realised PC Alothman was a police officer and “reacted by lashing out”.
Catchpole was found guilty of assault by magistrates who fined him £400. He was also ordered to pay £500 costs and a £40 surcharge.