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Nicholas Garnham fined nearly £800 for assaulting two Diss police officers


By KentOnline reporter


A 25-year-old man was ordered to pay nearly £800 for assaulting two Diss police officers on Christmas Eve.

James Butler and student officer Dion Phillips were assaulted when attending a report of a drunk man in Victoria Road, Diss, on December 24.
James Butler and student officer Dion Phillips were assaulted when attending a report of a drunk man in Victoria Road, Diss, on December 24.

Nicholas Garnham, of no fixed address, was ordered by Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday to pay one of the officers £100 and the other £150 in compensation, as well as a fine for the offence of £400, £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

It comes after Sergeant James Butler and student officer Dion Phillips were assaulted when attending a report of a drunk man in Victoria Road, Diss, on December 24.

Garnham was found unresponsive on a doorstep by the officers. When they tried to assist him, he smacked Mr Phillips in the face with the heel of his palm, causing a small cut to his nose.

In the subsequent struggle to arrest him, Sgt Butler had his fingers bent back.

Garnham admitted two charges of assault and one of being drunk and disorderly.

The compensation awarded to the two officers will be directly paid by Norfolk Constabulary, which will then claim it back from the assailant via the court.

This system is new and currently only applied in Norfolk. Previously, the payments to officers came from the assailant via the court, which used to be a lengthier procedure.

Speaking after the hearing, South Norfolk community engagement officer Jim Squires, pictured, said: “Police officers who had been assaulted were being awarded compensation, but it was never being paid because of the offender’s circumstances.

“The chief constable said this arrangement wasn’t fair and that if officers were assaulted and awarded compensation by a court, then that compensation should be paid.”



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