'No-one should be assaulted for doing their job' - man spared jail after assaulting Weston-super-Mare parking warden
PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 June 2017 | UPDATED: 07:24 23 June 2017
A Weston-super-Mare parking warden who was assaulted while carrying out his duty has spoken out about the 'completely unacceptable' act which left him 'concerned' for his safety.
Samuel Ford, aged 27, denied attacking North Somerset Council warden Scott Burrell when he appeared at North Somerset Courthouse.
However he was found guilty of assault by beating and was sentenced on June 13.
The charge related to an incident on December 12, when Mr Burrell was issuing a ticket to a car parked illegally in a disabled space without a blue badge in Knightstone Causeway in Weston.
Magistrates were told Ford, of Bristol Road, Winscombe, wrapped his hands around Mr Burrell’s throat and pushed him up against a railing by the car park and tried to lift him over towards a five-foot drop.
Mr Burrell told the Mercury: “Ford released me as another officer approached but as I turned away from him he punched me in the back of the neck and left the area.
“At the time I was in such a state of shock.
“I had a sense of disbelief that I had come to work to do my job like I do every day and somebody thought it was acceptable to assault me because they have been parked illegally.”
Mr Burrell did not sustain any serious injuries but was left with a sore neck and multiple bruises. He was able to return to work the following day, but was placed on restricted duty.
He said: “I am a lot more concerned about how the general public are going to react and the potential risk involved with carrying out the job.
“I believe no-one should be assaulted for doing their job. Our team experience some kind of abuse on a day-to-day basis which I find completely unacceptable.”
He said he hoped, by speaking out, it would show the public how assaulting a parking warden is not only ‘unjustifiable’, but could see them receiving more than just a parking fine.
Ford was handed a 16-week suspended sentence for a year, ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid community work and a two-year restraining order banning him from contacting Mr Burrell.
He was also ordered to pay £500 compensation, £115 in victim surcharge and £620 in costs.