Police assault conviction ‘croc-ed’ on appeal

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A MAN jailed after pleading guilty to throwing a plastic ‘Croc’ shoe at a female police officer’s chest has had his conviction overturned on appeal – even though he admitted the offence.

Andrew Walton, aged 42, was said to have hurled the ‘hard plastic slipper type shoe’ at the officer while being questioned about £800 worth of tools stolen from a van in September last year.

Walton was spotted by a neighbour pulling drills with another man from a hidden cache on wasteland. It was while being grilled by police that he was accused of losing his temper, pulling off his ‘Croc’ and letting fly.

Walton, of Cherry Tree Place, Wath upon Dearne, Rotherham, was jailed for a year after pleading guilty at Sheffield Crown Court to common assault and to handling stolen goods. He was sentenced in June.

But at the Court of Appeal in London, Walton’s lawyers argued the two charges should have been put on separate indictments, as they were not part of the same incident. Mr Justice Singh agreed and overturned the common assault conviction – despite Walton’s guilty plea – meaning the 12-month term for the offence is also quashed. That leaves him to serve eight months for the handling offence.