Man jailed for court biting

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A DRUG ADDICT who bit a security guard at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court has been jailed for 20 weeks.

Justin Hopkins, 41, of St Anthony, Newmarket, was found guilty of two counts of assault on September 19 after pleading not guilty at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court.

On November 12 2010, Hopkins was involved in a scuffle at the court as he tried to get inside the building.

Hopkins had become angry after security guards Phillip Walker and Tristan Askew refused him entry into the building because he was carrying a bottle of methadone.

During the row, Hopkins lashed out, kicking Askew and biting Walker on the hand. As a result of the attack Mr Walker had to take anti-HIV medicine for six weeks and have tests for hepatitis.

Prosecuting, Emma Howson said: “At 4.05pm Mr Hopkins entered the building saying ‘I am not waiting out here, it’s raining’. He was told he could not come in with his bottle of methadone.

“The defendent struggled and tried to get into the court and started lashing out with both arms. During the struggle Mr Askew was kicked in his shin, the defendent then started to lash out at Mr Walker with his head. The defendent grabbed his hand where he was bitten several times. As a result he had to have Hepetitus B and anti-viral treatment.”

In mitigation, Ejiro Akpogheneta said Hopkins, a drug addict for 20 years who is now clean, did not have HIV and there was no risk of infecting Mr Walker.

She said: “He has asked me to apologise to these officers on his behalf for any injuries caused.”

Hopkins received a 20 week sentence for each of the two assault charges.