Man claps in court after being jailed

PUBLISHED: 11:59 17 August 2006 | UPDATED: 11:59 04 May 2010

ELY man Lee Pearce flew into a rage and headbutted a policeman after he and three other officers called to arrest him at his home. Pearce, 24, who was swearing, left Pc Steven Gilbey with a swollen lip after he attacked him in the kitchen of his home at

ELY man Lee Pearce flew into a rage and headbutted a policeman after he and three other officers called to arrest him at his home.

Pearce, 24, who was swearing, left Pc Steven Gilbey with a swollen lip after he attacked him in the kitchen of his home at New Barns Avenue, a court heard.

As he was sentenced to prison, Pearce clapped at Ely Magistrates' Court, where he had been pulled him up for his "disregard of any authority".

They had been told that, despite Pc Gilbey being knocked backwards by the headbutt, the officer managed to grab Pearce and put him in an armlock while the others restrained and handcuffed him.

As he was loaded into a police van, Pearce continued to abuse and threaten the officers and he was shouting and headbutting the inside of the van and spitting through the cage.

"I hope your mum dies," he said. "I hope all your family dies. I am going to put a curse on you."

During police interview Pearce said: "I don't know why I lose it. I just black out. I've always done it since I was at primary school. I become violent - that is why I'm trying to get help from the doctor."

The court heard that police had called at Pearce's home on May 5 after a complaint about his behaviour towards a young mother living in nearby High Barns Road.

Two months earlier she had complained that he had threatened her with a piece of fencing before running off warning: "You are going to get some of this later."

She was so frightened for her safety that she had started to sleep downstairs on the sofa with all the lights on, the court heard.

Pearce admitted using words or behaviour likely to cause harassment on March 31. A charge he had earlier denied. At an earlier hearing he also admitted assaulting a police officer.

A further charge of failing to surrender to the police was withdrawn.

Mitigating, Melanie Benn told the court that Pearce accepted that he was reckless in assaulting the police officer but lost his temper because it was the second time police had called at his house that day.

He knew that he hadn't committed an offence and the accusation that he was arrested for was eventually dropped, she said.

"He was grabbed and he struggled with the officer and made contact with the officer during that struggle," she told magistrates.

She added that there had been a "considerable amount of bad blood" between Pearce and the young mother, but she had made the complaints in an attempt to get rehoused.

Pearce was given a three-month prison sentence for the assault and a further seven days to run consecutively for harassment in lieu of a £200 fine which he was unable to pay because he was already in custody.

Chairman of the Bench, Hamish Ross, told him: "We have taken into account your disregard for any authority. These are exceptionally serious circumstances.

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