Man 'monkeyed' around while police dealt with large-scale disturbance in South Shields street
A South Tyneside man who “monkeyed” around while police dealt with a mass street disturbance was caged when his antics went too far.
Michael Belshaw, 27, played the clown by claiming he had been assaulted and dramatically falling down three times in Sea Road, South Shields.
He had not been involved in violence involving 100 people at 6.30pm on Sunday, April 18 – and was not hurt.
Belshaw, of Maple Court, at the Nook, South Shields, was repeatedly asked to move on by police, magistrates in South Tyneside heard.
But he was eventually arrested when his obstructive antics saw him get in the way of police once too often.
Prosecutor Clare Irving said: “Officers had been called to attend large-scale disorder. The defendant had crutches.
“He was standing where one of the arrested people was and was asked to move away.
“He dropped to the ground and claimed he had been assaulted. He has then been requested numerous times to move away.
“He was loud and refused to move away. He again dropped to the ground, saying he has been assaulted.
“He then got to his feet and asked for his mobile phone, which the police had seized.”
Ms Irving said Belshaw tried to cause further trouble by encouraging those involved in the disturbance to record the scene on their mobile phones.
She said the defendant repeated his collapse act a third and final time – and was arrested and taken to a police station.
Belshaw pleaded guilty to obstructing or resisting an officer in the execution of their duty.
The court heard he was last in trouble with the courts in 2012.
Jason Smith, defending, said: “The reality of the situation is that Michael was messing about.
“He thought this might be a bit of a laugh. He deeply regrets his actions.
“He had nothing to do with the disorder. He had been out with friends and came across this disorder.
“He saw people being pulled around and being put in police vans.
“Michael took it a bit too far, he’s monkeyed about a bit too far, he accepts that.”
Magistrates fined Belshaw £120, with £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.