Welshpool Magistrates’ Court heard how Powys County Times editor Nick Knight, left, was grabbed by James Edward O’Sullivan before the journalist “put the defendant to the ground” to enable a police officer to arrest him.
O’Sullivan, 22, was spared jail after admitting the assault, as well as a charge of being drunk and disorderly.
Stephen Davies, prosecuting, told the court Nick was walking to the office at around 11.30pm on 19 February when he saw a man go down the alley of the office, between Broad Street and Puzzle Square, in Welshpool.
He found no sign of the man and entered the office where a cleaner was working, before hearing banging downstairs on the door and going down to see what was happening.
O’Sullivan was being aggressive, hitting the window and swearing, and Nick said he would call the police if he continued. The defendant then asked if Nick had a lighter before a PC Hathaway arrived.
Concerned for the officer’s well-being, Nick stood nearby to where PC Hathaway and the defendant were. When O’Sullivan saw him he launched towards him and said: “I’m going to have you.”
He grabbed Nick’s wrist and top, before the editor put the defendant to the ground and the officer arrested him. O’Sullivan, of Ellington Road, London, continued to verbally abuse Nick and then gave a “no comment” interview to police.
Owain Jones, defending, said his client did not recall everything as he was drunk, but accepted his behaviour was out of order and he was remorseful.
Mr Jones said O’Sullivan was a non-violent person, who was “gutted” about the incident, adding he had now moved to London, was training to be in the navy and hoped the incident would not have a detrimental effect on this.
O’Sullivan was given a 12 month conditional discharge and was ordered to pay Nick £50 in compensation.
He was fined £145, ordered to pay costs of £85 and a £30 victim surcharge.