A passing shopper at Lesmahagow’s Tesco store came to the aid of the police as a man they were arresting was struggling so violently with the officers he felt they needed help.
The public-spirited civilian ended up being injured by the man, Andrew Liu (31), of Coalburn Road, Coalburn who was ordered to pay him £200 compensation at Lanark Sheriff Court on Thursday.
Liu was appearing for sentence on a catalogue of charges arising out of an incident in the store’s car park on March 8.
He had, at an earlier hearing, admitted causing a disturbance by shouting, swearing and acting aggressively, resisting arrest by strugging violently with two police officers, assaulting the civilian, Charles Lindores, by striking him on the head to his injury, being in possession of a knife and driving while unfit through drink or drugs.
He also admitted that, later that day, at Lanark Police Station, he refused to provide a specimen of his breath for testing.
The court heard from Liu’s solicitor that his client had been going through a difficult patch at the time of the offences.
He had recently separated from his wife and his business was in difficulties.
“He was in an aggitated state at the time he was stopped by the police but realises that his reaction was totally unacceptable. He apologises to all involved. The police were only trying to do their duty.”
Sheriff Nikola Stewart inquired how Mr Lindores became involved in the incident and was told that he was a passing member of the public who saw Liu struggling with police and went to the assistance of the officers, being struck in the mouth during the encounter.
The sheriff commented: “It is unusual for a member of the public to intervene like this. It must have been a very alarming incident to prompt him to do that.”
Liu’s solicitor responded by admitting his client was “a big man” and the sight of him struggling with officers must have indeed been an alarming one.
He insisted that Liu was not trying to minimise his offending but insisted he did not intend to hurt Mr Lindores.
The sheriff ordered Liu to pay Mr Lindores £200 compensation and disqualified him from driving for 22 months. She also ordered he carry out 240 hours of unpaid community work.