Thug sparked violent melee at police station

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

A man was jailed for assaulting two police officers and starting a violent struggle at Wigan police headquarters after a car chase.

Stephen Bailey bit one officer and wrestled with at least eight others during the brawl, after he refused to return to his cell.

The fracas erupted in the early hours of December 9 after Bailey failed to provide a breath test, having been arrested earlier that day following a police chase.

Officers had originally tried to pull him over near Wallgate, after reports of a seemingly-drunk man getting behind the wheel of a Ford Connect van, which also had differing number plates on the front and back.

Two officers followed the car for a short period at around 5am, before turning on their lights and sirens to signal the driver to pull over.

The 29-year-old initially slowed down, but then did a U-turn and made off at speed.

Bailey, of Poplar Avenue, Worsley Hall, abandoned the car following a short pursuit and ran away on foot. He was eventually detained after police gave chase and caught up with him. He was taken to the station and was noted to smell strongly of alcohol.

But after being booked in, Bailey was uncooperative and failed to provide an adequate breathalyser test.

CCTV images played at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court showed Bailey shouting loudly at two officers, threatening to punch and headbutt them as they ordered him to go back to his cell following the incident.

Bailey was then grabbed by the two officers who attempted to handcuff him, before he began screaming and trying to fight the police.

It was then that one of the officers was thrown to the floor as he attempted to restrain Bailey in what appeared to be a headlock. Several more officers came in and piled on the aggressive man after the violence erupted, and Bailey was heard screaming “I can’t breathe!” and “let go of my neck!”.

A police sergeant claimed Bailey lunged at him and bit his leg, before he retaliated in self defence. Another constable also suffered a hand injury during the melee.

The sergeant commented: “He tried biting my legs, so I kicked him in the face. I’ve never felt so vulnerable.”

Bailey’s solicitor Colin Rawson argued that his client had been worried about being restrained after being the victim of a previous police brutality incident, which had left him requiring an operation.

Mr Rawson also argued that the sergeant was pulled to the ground as a direct result of having hold of Bailey.

He said: “The officer was thrown to the floor, but he had hold of Bailey’s head as he is dragged down. You cannot say that is deliberate.

“This young man was obstructive, but he has been thrown down by an officer who had him in a headlock. The officer punches Bailey at least three times in the head before he was bitten.”

Mr Rawson added: “It is difficult for him to show remorse to the officers because he has been kicked and punched.”

Magistrates sentenced Bailey to 17 weeks in prison for the assaults, and 12 weeks for failing to provide a specimen of breath. Both sentences will run concurrently. He was also ordered to pay £150 in compensation.

Magistrates told Bailey he had shown “a total disregard and disrespect for police officers and for other road users.”