Mansfield man Samuel Clarke jailed for homophobic assault

editorial image

A MANSFIELD man who took part in a homophobic assault and bit a police officer’s leg has been jailed for 22 weeks.

Samuel Clarke (22) was with a friend who started punching a man simply because he was gay, the town’s magistrates’ court was told.

Rather than object to the assault, Clarke punched the victim in the face, prosecutor Peter Quinn said.

Following the incident in Riddings, in September last year, Clarke was arrested and admitted assault but denied it was homophobic on his part.

A later court hearing ruled Clarke knew his friend had committed the assault due to the victim’s sexuality so it was accepted as an aggravating feature.

Mr Quinn added how Clarke was then arrested on Saturday 3rd March this year after police were called to a domestic incident in Kitchener Drive, Mansfield.

“Officers said Mr Clarke was extremely drunk,” Mr Quinn said.

“The abuse given to officers was outrageous and he was seriously out of control.”

Clarke was eventually restrained and taken to Mansfield Police Station. As he was being transferred to the custody suite Mr Quinn said Clarke bit Pc Paul Kingston on the knee.

A small amount of cannabis was also found in Clarke’s jacket pocket.

Michael Little, in mitigation, said Clarke has struggled with alcohol and drug abuse and needs help. Clarke was given a community order in January for three assaults and has been working with the probation service.

Mr Little said his client was drunk on the night of the homophobic assault and had only joined in out of ‘peer pressure’.

During the incident in March, Mr Little said Clarke was co-operative with police but became angry after allegedly being pushed toward the police car. He became further distressed when leg straps were applied in the police van.

Mr Little said: “My client said they were treating him like a dog so he was going to behave like a dog.”

Clarke, of Chesterfield Road South, pleaded guilty to assault, assaulting a police officer, possession of cannabis and being convicted of an offence while on a community order.

District Judge Diane Baker said the custody threshold had clearly been passed and sentenced Clarke to a total of 22 weeks in prison. The judge said Clarke’s existing community order will continue when he is released.