Five officers needed to detain father-of-three arrested after Christmas Eve fracas

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A father-of-three from Colne arrested after a Christmas Eve pub fight protested so much that it took five police officers to detain him, a court has heard.

Burnley magistrates were told how groundworker Daniel Phillips (36) put his arms under his chest to try to prevent officers handcuffing him in the street after he had been involved in a mid-afternoon confrontation at the Market Street Tavern in Colne in which a woman had been knocked over.

Phillips, who did not want to be taken away from his elderly father, became increasingly aggressive with the officers, tussling with them in front of a crowd of shoppers and ended up being parva-sprayed.

The defendant, of Sheridan Road in Laneshawbridge, admitted to using threatening, abusive, or insulting words or behaviour and five counts of resisting police and was fined £300 with a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Prosecutor, Miss Parveen Akhtar, said an officer approached Phillips, who was irate and obstructive. He swore and asked: "Are you joking me?" The defendant continued to be uncooperative and became increasingly aggressive in front of members of the public.

Miss Akhtar said police tried to detain him, but he stiffened up when they attempted to apply handcuffs leading several officers to intervene at which point he was taken to the floor.

"A large crowd had gathered at this point," Miss Akhtar continued. "Eventually, they did manage to get the handcuffs on him."

Mr David Lawson, representing Phillips, said he had gone for Christmas drinks with his elderly father and was approached by a "rather aggressive man" in the pub which resulted in a physical confrontation.

The solicitor continued: "Unfortunately, a lady got knocked over. The landlady called the police. Mr Phillips stayed at the scene and helped to get her to her feet. He left the premises with his father and was walking down Market Street when a number of police officers attended.

"He protested his innocence in the incident," Mr Lawson added. "He was rather unwilling to leave his father on Christmas Eve. He was, he accepts, upset. He put his arms under his chest when the officers attempted to handcuff him.

"It was a rather unsavoury and unsatisfactory incident and one that he bitterly regrets in the cold light of day," Mr Lawson continued. "This was a one-off incident. Emotions were heightened perhaps by the fact he was being arrested on Christmas Eve in front of his father."

The solicitor told the court Phillips had previously led a "fairly extensive criminal lifestyle," but now had his own business as a groundworker, builder and labourer and undertook contracts throughout the country.