Blocked-in driver pushed theatre boss down stairs

Elec­tri­cian said he’d dis­rupt chil­dren’s show

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - NEWS - By Guy Bell gbell@thek­m­ @gbel­lKM

An elec­tri­cian at­tacked a mem­ber of staff at the Ha­zlitt Theatre, Maid­stone, and pushed him down stairs dur­ing a park­ing row.

Daniel Knapp, 41, left work at Dorothy Perkins, in Week Street, at 7pm and saw his car, in Rose Yard, had been blocked in by an­other driver.

He vis­ited sev­eral pubs and restau­rants in Earl Street to find the car owner be­fore end­ing up at the Ha­zlitt Theatre, cul­mi­nat­ing in him wedg­ing his knee against deputy man­ager Sean Hal­li­han’s throat.

Adrian Cross­ley, pros­e­cut­ing at Maid­stone Mag­is­trates’ Court on Thurs­day, said: “The de­fen­dant asked Mr Hal­li­han whether the ve­hi­cle was known to him and he said he couldn’t as­sist.

“The de­fen­dant seems to have left for half an hour and then re­turned and re­peated his re­quests that more was done to find out the owner of the ve­hi­cle that was block­ing him.”

Knapp, of New Rom­ney, threat­ened to dis­rupt the drum con­cert put on by chil­dren for par­ents in the au­di­to­rium on March 20.

His at­tempts to en­ter the main area of the theatre were thwarted when he was made aware po­lice had been in­formed of the at­tack on Mr Hal­li­han. Mr Cross­ley said: “The de­fen­dant then re­leased Mr Hal­li­han and walked to­wards the theatre exit. He was asked to re­main for po­lice to talk with him.

“At this point the de­fen­dant pushed Mr Hal­li­han again and he lost his bal­ance be­cause he was at the top of some stairs.

“There was a sec­ond push in sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances and the de­fen­dant tried to exit the theatre. He was found by po­lice and later ar­rested.” Knapp de­nied as­sault by beat­ing but was con­victed fol­low­ing a trial. He was fined £300 and or­dered to pay £100 com­pen­sa­tion and £350 costs.

Mr Hal­li­han re­vealed to the court he was left shaken by the ter­ri­fy­ing in­ci­dent and suf­fered bruis­ing across his en­tire body as well as a “bruised ego”.

Daniel Knapp de­nied as­sault of a staff mem­ber at the Ha­zlitt Theatre

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