Plymouth lout had to be restrained by five police officers

An intoxicated man who kicked out at police trying to arrest him has avoided prison despite being in breach of a suspended sentence.

Aaron Essery, aged 34, was eventually restrained by five officers after he was pepper-sprayed, a court heard.

Essery was in breach of a suspended sentence for drunkenly pointing a realistic-looking imitation firearm at a stranger in the street.

But a judge at Plymouth Crown Court decided not to send him straight to jail because of his continuing mental health problems.

Essery, of Herbert Place, Stoke, pleaded guilty to obstructing or resisting a police officer in the execution of his duty on May 12.

He was handed a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, with mental health treatment and probation supervision in June last year.

Essery had pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence the previous October.

Michael Brown, for the Crown Prosecution Service, told the latest hearing that officers arrested Essery on an unrelated matter in the early hours.

Aaron Essery pointed a realistic fake gun at a man in the street
Aaron Essery pointed a realistic fake gun at a man in the street (Image: Plymouth Live)

He added they were concerned for his welfare and put him in a police van to take him to Derriford Hospital.

Mr Brown said he was swearing and shouting and police suspected he was under the influence of either drink or drugs.

The barrister added that he complained that his handcuffs were too tight but continued to resist after they were loosened.

Mr Brown said that Essery punched and kicked out towards the officers and tried to force his way out of the back of the van.

He added: “He physically struggled with an officer on the ground and as a result of the struggle, the officer suffered cuts to his forearm.

The BB gun pointed by Aaron Essery at a stranger's head
The BB gun pointed by Aaron Essery at a stranger’s head (Image: Crown Prosecution Service)

“It took about five officers to bring him under control.”

Michael Green, for Essery, said his client had gone 11 months since the suspended sentence was imposed.

He added that Essery’s response to probation supervision had been positive overall.

Mr Green said that the defendant had a lot to lose if he went to prison, including his accommodation.

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Judge Townsend handed Essery a three-month home curfew and fined him £50 for the breach of the suspended sentence.

Plymouth Live