Judge commends brave actions of Calderdale PCs and rewards member of public

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A judge has commended two policewomen and rewarded a member of the public after they detained a man during a disturbance in Halifax town centre last year.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC today (Thursday) made 50-year-old Mark Holdsworth subject to a hospital order under the Mental Health Act after hearing how he hit a teenage girl with a “men at work” sign and a metal pole during the incident in the Rawson Street area last September.

Prosecutor Simon Haring told Bradford Crown Court that the girl and her boyfriend had seen Holdsworth’s acting “very strangely” that evening and she thought he was on drugs.

Holdsworth, of Brownroyd Avenue, was putting cones in the middle of the road for no reason and when the girl put some of them back on the pavement he didn’t like it and hit her on the leg with the sign.

The defendant, who had earlier been seen “sniffing something”, used another sign to hit the girl’s boyfriend and he then threw a pole towards her hitting her head.

PC Julie Parkinson and her colleague PC Lauren Hill responded to calls about the incident and when they arrived Holdsworth was running at passers-by and almost growling at them.

PC Hill ran towards Holdsworth who was brandishing a metal pole and he hit her in the area of her stab vest.

Mr Haring said the defendant then swung the bar at PC Parkinson hitting her in the chest and thigh areas.

“Both officers were shouting at the defendant and telling him to put the bar down,” said Mr Haring.

“PC Hill used her CS spray on the defendant but it seemed to have no effect. Instead the defendant ran off brandishing the bar at members of the public who were witnessing this scene.”

In George’s Square, Holdsworth struck PC Hill on the leg, backside and hand and he also hit PC Parkinson on the right hand as he continued to swing the bar.

Mr Haring said Holdsworth was eventually rugby tackled to the ground by a member of the public, Karl Scorgie, and Judge Durham Hall said he should receive a reward of £250 for his actions.

After being detained Holdsworth was found to be in possessions of a small amount of amphetamine.

Judge Durham Hall said the two officers should be commended for what he described as their selfless bravery during the incident.

Holdsworth, who had been given a conditional discharge by Kirklees magistrates for threatening behaviour a few days before the incident, admitted offences of affray and assaulting the girl and the two police officers.

The court heard that PC Hill had been left with marks across her legs and a cut to her hand after the attack and PC Parkinson suffered pain to her right thumb.