An 18-year-old “unintentionally” assaulted a police officer with a handcuff in Downton, a court heard.

Jay William Pidgeley, of Pine Road in Alderholt, admitted one charge of assaulting an emergency worker and another of criminal damage to a police van when he appeared at Salisbury Magistrates’ Court on Friday, June 24.

The offences happened on June 5 of this year after police were called to reports of an incident in the village where members of the public had been threatened.

Prosecutor Asha Seenauth accepted the basis of plea that the assault was a “reckless” act and that it was not the defendant’s deliberate intention to assault the officer with a handcuff.

She said Pidgeley and a friend were spoken to by officers responding to the incident and while being detained resisted and both became aggressive.

The 18-year-old, who only had one hand in cuffs managed to break away from officers and according to Ms Seenauth “lunged” towards one of the officers in a bid to get him off his friend who was being detained on the floor.

The officer was hit in the back of the head by the handcuff on Pidgeley’s wrist causing the officer “pain and disorientation” as well as a small lump on his head.

When interviewed the defendant said he had been walking to the shops with a friend when two cars came racing through the village and he had shouted to them to slow down. One person got out of each of the cars and "everyone started shouting".

Paul Jones, defending Pidgeley, said the defendant had been confronted by the drivers.

He also said a report of a knife had been made to police however, the court heard there was no knife. Mr Jones said because of that allegation officers had to be “overly cautious”.

He also stated that Pidgeley was “fully co-operative” when told he would be searched and that hitting the police officer on the back of the head with the handcuff was “not deliberate” adding that this was “reckless” and he “did not intend to do that”.

When Pidgeley was put in a police van he spat several time – spitting on the window and driver’s seat.

Mr Jones also said that he hadn’t been given the chance to explain what had happened but that his client was pleading guilty at the first opportunity and had apologised at the time and during interview.

In relation to the spitting, he said the defendant “lost his temper”.

Pidgeley was fined £250 for the assault on an emergency worker and a surcharge of £34 in addition to compensation of £50 to the officer. No separate penalty was given for the criminal damage to the police van.