Woman beater tried to bite police officer in drunken street fight

A convicted woman beater tried to bite a police officer when they wrestled in the street.

Anthony Kelly was arrested for being drunk and disorderly after a boozy night out in Birkenhead.

But the 27-year-old, of Makin Street, Walton, grappled with a policeman and they both fell to the ground.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the officer sprayed Kelly with pepper spray, but inadvertently blinded himself.

And when he finally managed to restrain him, the thug tried to sink his teeth into the policeman’s right arm.

Kelly was serving a suspended sentence at the time for attacking his girlfriend and threatening to “smash” her face in.

Tom Challinor, prosecuting, said the officer was on duty in a marked police car, at around 10.30pm, on July 9 last year.

Get our free Echo Court Files newsletter

Liverpool’s courts are some of the busiest in the UK, with a huge variety of cases being heard each week.

To get a behind the scenes look at how they work and the moments that don’t make our stories, subscribe to our free weekly Echo Court Files newsletter, written by court reporters Neil Docking and Lauren Wise.

How do I sign up?

It’s free, easy and takes no time at all.

  1. First just click on this link to our newsletter sign-up centre.
  2. Once you’re there, put your email address where it says at the top, then click on the Echo Court Files button. There are other newsletters available too if you want them as well.
  3. When you’ve made your choice, press the Save Changes button at the bottom.

He was flagged down in Exmouth Street by a woman who was with two men, including Kelly.

Mr Challinor said: “The officer got out of his car and was approached by the defendant, who was in an agitated state, telling the officer that there was an elderly man who had been spoken to badly about the use of a disabled toilet.

“The defendant was clearly upset and agitated by what he perceived as this man’s mistreatment, but it was apparent to the officer that the defendant was drunk. He was unsteady on his feet and slurring his words.”

The manager of a nearby pub told the officer Kelly was causing “trouble”, threatening staff and there wasn’t any issue with the OAP, who confirmed there wasn’t a problem.

Mr Challinor said the officer “advised” Kelly about this, but he “started to behave aggressively, clenching his teeth”.

He asked what the officer was going to do about cigarettes he said were taken from him, but again the manager dismissed this claim.

Find your nearest vaccination centre by using your postcode below

Kelly was arrested after swearing and clenching his fists, but pulled away as the officer took hold of his arm and both men fell over.

Mr Challinor said: “The officer sprayed the defendant with incapacitant spray, which got in the officer’s eyes, temporarily blinding him during the struggle.

“He lost his handcuffs and was prevented from getting up by the defendant, who had managed to get hold of him and kept him on the ground.

“Eventually the officer broke free and managed to turn things back on the defendant, who was restrained. At that point the defendant went to bite the police officer’s arm.

“He did that by putting his teeth on the officer’s right arm, but as soon as he did that the officer pulled away.

“The defendant was told to stop biting and he bent the officer’s fingers back.”

Other officers arrived and restrained Kelly, who later gave a “no comment” interview.

The victim suffered muscular pain to his right shoulder, lasting two weeks, plus bruises and grazing to his right elbow and wrist.

Video Loading

At the start of a trial Kelly admitted assaulting an emergency worker and being drunk and disorderly, then pleaded guilty to breaching a suspended prison sentence.

In June 2019 he received five months in jail, suspended for 18 months, for common assault, sending a threatening communication and possessing a blade.

Mr Challinor said this involved a “domestic assault” against Mr Kelly’s girlfriend of eight months, in the early hours of the morning.

He said: “They had both gone to bed after drinking and the defendant’s then partner was woken up by the defendant calling her a liar and a slut and a slag.

“He made threats to her saying ‘you’ve lied to me, I’m going to smash your face in, you’re going to have no teeth’.

“He then grabbed her tightly by both wrists and wouldn’t let go and then continued with some threats.”

Join our Liverpool court cases Facebook group

Pictured is Liverpool Crown Court

We have launched a Facebook group to bring you the latest stories from court all in one place.

It will feature reports from Liverpool Crown Court and cases connected to Merseyside.

To join and get updates, click here.

You can also follow our court reporter’s Facebook page.

Mr Challinor said police were called and arrested Kelly, who was found to be carrying a lock knife.

His previous convictions also include racially or religiously aggravated harassment in 2017 and assault causing actual bodily harm in 2016.

Kate Morley, defending, said while it was “perhaps fortunate”, her client didn’t bite the officer or cause serious injuries.

She said Kelly only had two days of unpaid work remaining from his last sentence, which he hadn’t been able to complete because of the pandemic.

Ms Morley said Kelly expressed “remorse and shame” in a pre-sentence report, now had a new address and job, and hadn’t offended since.

The judge, Recorder Michael Blakey, said the court must activate the custodial sentence, unless it would be “unjust”.

Can you help us keep Merseyside covered?

Ms Morley said: “He has stabilising factors in his life such as a home and employment and if he were to be sentenced to a term of imprisonment today, he would lose both his home and his employment.

“In my respectful submission, that would only increase the risk of him offending in the future.”

The lawyer argued it would also be “unjust” because if jailed, Kelly wouldn’t get to tackle “underlying issues” with alcohol.

Recorder Blakey said Kelly “reacted badly” to the arrest and had a “pretty bad record, particularly in relation to assault”.

Stories from Liverpool Crown Court

Referring to his suspended sentence for domestic violence, he said: “I note from your pre-sentence report you clearly have a temper because it’s not the first time as I understand it that you’ve done that.”

The judge said it would have been made “plain and clear” to Kelly that if he committed any further crimes “that might lead to you losing your liberty”.

Recorder Blakey said: “Police officers and emergency workers have to be protected by the courts. They have an extremely difficult job, particularly during the course of this pandemic, and they should be afforded as much protection as the court can give them.

“There is no justification for you acting in the way that you did – the officer was simply carrying out his duty.”

The judge jailed him for seven months, including three months of his suspended sentence.

Liverpool Echo – Liverpool News