MP says court sentence was ‘inadequate’

MP John Hayes has hit out at the inadequate sentence given to a man who assaulted a policeman.
MP John Hayes has hit out at the inadequate sentence given to a man who assaulted a policeman.

MP John Hayes has written to the Attorney General to complain about the “inadequate” court sentence handed to a Spalding man for an unprovoked attack on a policeman.

Jonathan Fox (51), of Stonegate, was found guilty after a trial of assaulting PC Karl Cinavas but escaped prison and was handed a £500 fine.

The South Holland and the Deepings MP says: “It was a derisory sentence.

“I have written to the Attorney General, the magistrates, the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner and the Home Office to say this is outrageous. This bloke should have been banged up.

“I think it is extraordinary and appalling that someone who committed a violent crime has been given a sentence that most people would regard as entirely inappropriate and inadequate.

“He should have received severe punishment for it. He should have gone to prison for an unprovoked attack on a policeman. If that doesn’t attract a custodial sentence, what does?

“I am reflecting the views that I know will be held by the overwhelming majority of people. I can’t think there would be many people that would not come to the same conclusion, really.”

Fox denied both the assault on PC Cinavas and an offence of being drunk and disorderly, which took place on May 5, but was found guilty and sentenced on December 5.

As well as the fine for assault, Fox was ordered to pay £150 compensation to PC Cinavas, £620 prosecution costs and a £50 victim surcharge.

He received no separate penalty for being drunk and disorderly.

The incident happened at night in Bridge Street, Spalding, after PC Cinavas was called to deal with Fox who was shouting abuse at a woman council officer assisting at the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner election count.

Fox knocked PC Cinavas to the ground and was repeatedly punching him when district councillors Gary Taylor and Jack McLean intervened to help the officer.

Mr Hayes paid tribute to the courage of councillors Taylor and McLean for intervening in the way they did.

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones in turn is speaking to the county’s MPs to ask them to press for a new offence covering all assaults on members of the 999 services, police, fire and ambulance, because their roles involve saving lives.

He said: “If you are going about your business of saving people’s lives, you should not come under attack.”

Mr Jones said another aspect to the assault on PC Cinavas was that it happened at an election count and was an “interruption of democracy”.

He said: “People should be able to vote and go through that process and feel safe in doing so. It was a very good thing that the local councillors were there and prepared to step in and support PC Cinavas.”