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Couple pepper sprayed after allegedly having sex in a Wetherspoons toilet fined for threatening behaviour

Man and half-naked woman pepper sprayed by cops after they came out of the cubicle in an aggressive manner.

A couple who were pepper-sprayed by police after a barman caught them allegedly having sex in a pub toilet have been fined for using threatening behaviour.

Lee Hopps, 30, and Hayley McClory, 23, had been drinking in the middle of a breakdown in their relationship and their night out ended with her being carried semi-naked from the pub by police.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates heard how a customer at the Wetherspoon's Stanley Jefferson pub in Bishop Auckland reported seeing a man and a woman in a cubicle of the female toilets.

When a member of staff went to investigate Hopps told him to "f*** off" and made threats, the court heard.

Michael Rose, prosecuting, said: "A member of staff went to the female toilets and naturally drew the obvious conclusion as to what might be going on."

Two special constables arrived and told the couple to come out, but they refused until one of the officers said he was about to enter.

Mr Rose said: "Mr Hopps comes out approaching the officer in such an aggressive manner that he draws his incapacitant spray and directs it towards Mr Hopps.

"He is taken to the ground by the officer and arrested. While he is on the ground he struggles, trying to pull away, and continues with abusing the officers.

"Meanwhile Miss McClory comes out of the toilet in a somewhat distressed condition. She is half naked and her trousers are around her legs.

"She moves towards the officers in a similar aggressive manner and she too is sprayed with incapacitant.

"Despite that there is a considerable struggle with officers."

Mr Rose said back-up officers arrived and McClory was asked to get dressed but refused.

"She has to be carried out of the pub partially naked by other officers, reluctantly carrying her out in that manner," he said.

The couple, who have since split up, both admitted the public order offence.

Hopps, who works up to three days a week as a roofer, also admitted resisting an officer.

Unemployed McClory, who has a new boyfriend, had previously admitted causing criminal damage to a police blanket worth £10.46 at the police station by tearing it.

Andrew Clinton, defending, described it as "an unusual case".

He told magistrates: "At the time of this offence these two defendants were in the middle of a breakdown in their relationship.

"It was long term, it lasted eight years.

"It is fair to say neither of these two defendants can actually recall an awful lot of what went on in that pub.

"They had been in the pub from around 3-3.30pm, they had not drunk an excessive amount but they cannot recall much about the incident from around about 7.30pm.

"Miss McClory tells me the first time she was aware of anything was in the police cells at Bishop Auckland.

"I think that's pretty much the same for Mr Hopps."

Chairman of the bench Stephen Bowser fined Hopps £425 plus £100 costs and a victim surcharge of £42, making a total he must pay of £567.

There was no separate fine for an offence of resisting an officer.

McClory was fined £75 for using threatening behaviour, costs of £100, a surcharge of £20 and ordered to pay £10.46 for the damaged blanket.

Leaving court, Hopps, from Farm Close, Bishop Auckland, was asked by reporters if he regretted the night out.

"No, do I f***," he replied.

McClory, of Percy Street, Bishop Auckland, left court with family members covered up in a parka-style coat and wearing large sunglasses.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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