82 year old done for assault on police

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  1. Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 January 2008, 20:46 GMT

    Man, 82, guilty of police assault
    An 82-year-old man has been found guilty of assaulting two police officers while on his way home from a church mass on Christmas Eve.
    Former Kent County Councillor Frank Gibson pushed one officer and twisted the thumb of another, Chatham Magistrates' Court heard.

    He was given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs.

    Gibson, of Windmill Street, Gravesend, who suffers from arthritis, had denied the charge on Tuesday.

    The court was told that he was stopped on the suspicion that he was driving under the influence.

    Finding himself in an unfamiliar situation he allowed his temper to get the better of him

    Angela Howe

    He said he had had a glass of champagne with his family earlier in the evening and had taken communion at church.

    A breathalyser test at the police station proved to be negative.

    He contested the evidence given by both officers that he pushed one in the chest and twisted the thumb of the other.

    Gibson said: "It would have to be done with my left hand. I have very arthritic joints and could never push a big policeman back two paces.

    "I would not have been able to grab anybody's thumb and twist it, making them squeal."

    But magistrate Angela Howe rejected his testimony and said the officers' gave true accounts during her summing up.

    She said: "We believe he is a man of good character but in finding himself in an unfamiliar situation he allowed his temper to get the better of him and acted out of character."

    Following the sentence, Kent County Councillor Sarah Hohler said: "It is unbelievable. We are very shocked, we really are."

    Perhaps they wanted to stay in the safe warm office doing paper work rather than go on the streets facing real opposition ??