Agency boss found guilty of assaulting a police officer

court 2 (2)The boss of a marketing agency has been convicted of assaulting a police officer, who was trying the break up a 100-strong street party during this summer’s postponed Notting Hill Carnival, but has been spared jail.

Marvin Foster, managing director of guerrilla and street marketing agency Love Creative Marketing, attended an unlicensed rave in Harrow Road, Maida Hill, west London on August 31.

But when Metropolitan Police officers tried to stop the party, Foster and over 100 other partygoers refused to disperse until police returned a second time and ordered them to turn off the music, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.

Julie Idowu, prosecuting, said: “Offices attend an unlicensed music event on August 31 at Harrow Road. They attended the event twice but they did indeed allow the event to continue even though the Crown say it was a breach of the Covid 19 regulations. There were 100 people in number and they were hostile to the police.”

The prosecution alleged that Foster jumped in front of PC Harry Didsbury and his colleague PC James O’Neil as they went back to their marked vehicles.

Idowu added: “The defendant stepped in front of officers. At one point he grabbed hold of PC Didsbury and the officer had to pull away. PC O’Neil had to move towards the defendant, he held his hand up in an open palm gesture so the defendant would calm down. The defendant was aggressive.

She continued: “The defendant has not calmed down, he has seized hold of both the officer’s arms and held tightly, he had to tell the defendant to let go of his arms several times.”

The officer allegedly said “get off, get off” but was only able to break free when he used a ‘release tactic’ on Foster. Idowu added: “The defendant lashed out one more time. But no injuries were sustained.”

In a statement to the court PC O’Neil said: “When he took hold of my arms I could feel how he was gripping my forearms and I was in fear of my safety.”

Foster admitted assault by beating of an emergency worker and was handed an 18-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £300 in compensation.

The maximum sentence under the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018 is 12 months in prison and an unlimited fine.

Offenders jailed for assaulting emergency workers receive on average of 12 weeks in prison, according to Ministry of Justice figures, and although conviction rates are relatively high at 80%, more individuals are currently being fined than jailed after being prosecuted under the Act.

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