'Play-fighter' fined for causing distress to public

South Wales Guardian: CHARGE: A Tumble man who claimed he was 'play-fighting' with a pal has been fined after members of the public were left alarmed by his actions. CHARGE: A Tumble man who claimed he was 'play-fighting' with a pal has been fined after members of the public were left alarmed by his actions.

A 24-year-old Tumble man and his mate “were only play-fighting” when he was arrested outside a Llanelli town centre pub, a court has been told.

Christopher Craig Fitzgerald, of 34 Heol Neuadd, admitted using threatening words and behaviour outside the Tom Pepper’s Bar at 3.30am on December 15.

Ellie Morgan, prosecuting, told Llanelli magistrates how officers on patrol were told a fight was taking place outside the bar by members of the public.

When the officers arrived they saw two men, one of whom – Fitzgerald – had his back to them as they approached.

“He was in a fighting stance,” said Ms Morgan.

“He started swinging his arms towards the other man and seemed to be aggressive.

“He was swinging his fists.

“The second man was backing away from him.”

When he finally realised the police were approaching, Fitzgerald attempted to run away but was quickly caught.

“He started to push against the officers,” said Ms Morgan.

Eventually, Fitzgerald was handcuffed but he continued acting aggressively towards the officers and was shouting and swearing.

While Fitzgerald was being arrested, the other man approached the officers and said he did not wish to make a complaint.

“He said they were joking, but what was seen by the police did not seem to be fooling around,” said Ms Morgan.

Andrew Isaacs, defending, told the court that while Fitzgerald admitted the charge he did not fully accept the prosecution’s version of events.

“He feels the police exaggerated matters a little,” said Mr Isaacs.

“He and the other man were mucking around – if other people saw them acting like that it may well have caused them alarm and distress.

“He also does not accept he was resisting the police in any way.

“He realises that he had been drinking and was foolish.

“Sometimes the police add a little extra flavour to these types of offences.

“He wishes to apologise for what he did, but he does wish to put it into context.”

Magistrates fined Fitzgerald £75 and ordered he pay £85 court costs and a further £20 legal surcharge.

Fitzgerald, who was subject to a 12-month conditional discharge at the time of the incident, was fined an additional £40 for the earlier offence.

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