A man who swore at two community wardens as he made his way home from a wake has been made to pay over £200.
Mark Quinn, 36, became involved in a verbal altercation with one of the female wardens who as they sat in parked in a van.
Magistrates in South Tyneside heard the incident began with a joke but ended with Quinn threating the woman and swearing at her.
Glenda Black, prosecuting, told the court: “Mr Quinn’s friend pretended to trip and fall in front of the van.
“He asked if he would get compensation had the incident happened for real.
“The van was parked in the centre of South Shields, and there was apparently some youths in the vicinity. Mr Quinn said the youths were being unruly and that the wardens should be dealing with them.”
She added: “It seems he believed he was being filmed by the wardens and started filming with his own phone camera in response.
“One of the wardens said she found Quinn threatening and abusive, swearing at her and calling her names.”
The court was told when Quinn was arrested he refused to answer any questions.
Ms Beck added: “In a prepared statement, he said he was exercising his right to free speech.
“He said he was being baited by the wardens.”
Quinn, of Kirkstone Avenue, Jarrow, admitted behaviour likely to cause alarm or distress on January 3.
Val Bell, defending, said: “Mr Quinn has very little in the way of previous convictions.
“He denies swearing at the wardens, although accepts by his plea his conduct may have been intimidating.
“Mr Quinn had been to a wake, but only the latter part of it so he wasn’t drunk.”
Quinn was ordered to pay £255 in fines and costs.