Angry job seeker threw wet missiles at police cell camera after arrest for assault

Mark Platts soaked pages from a book in toilet water and threw them at a police cell camera. Picture

Mark Platts soaked pages from a book in toilet water and threw them at a police cell camera. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: Suffolk Constabulary

A Kesgrave man took aim at a police cell camera with paper soaked in toilet water following his arrest for assaulting a job centre guard.

Mark Platts soaked pages of a book and threw wet balls of paper at the camera, after police cut off the water supply when the 39-year-old threatened to flood his cell.

Platts, of Adams Place, had been arrested for assaulting security staff at the JobCentre in Silent Street on the afternoon on April 5.

He admitted common assault and criminal damage at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Prosecutor David Bryant said Platts was asked to leave the job centre after being rude to staff.

As he attempted to return through another entrance, his path was blocked by a guard, who he assaulted by grabbling his right arm with both hands.

Platts was arrested and taken to Martlesham Heath police investigation centre, where he became abusive via an intercom in his cell, which he threatened to flood – giving a custody sergeant cause to cut off the water supply.

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More than four hours after his first arrest, he was held for criminal damage, after throwing soaked paper at a CCTV camera.

Platts told police that, having been withheld food and water, he was being “treated like an animal” – and chose to behave like one.

In mitigation, David Allen said his client had attended the job centre on many occasions and had been “given the run around” by enquiries into his benefit entitlement.

“Every time he produced documents, he was told something would happen, but it didn’t,” added Mr Allen.

“He was sent from pillar to post, and wished to complain about the service, but was asked to leave.

‘‘Believing he was entitled to do so, he returned to pursue his claim – in the course of which, he was plainly pushed, but accepts he grabbed the guard’s arm.

“It was Mr Platts who phoned police and was summarily arrested.

‘‘His annoyance was compounded by being kept in a cell for many hours without food, water or contact with a solicitor.”

Magistrates handed Platts a 12-month conditional discharge, and ordered him to pay £137 for the cost of cleaning the police cell, £85 costs, a statutory fee towards victim services and £50 in compensation for the assault.