Police chief's daughter found guilty of assault

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The Independent Online
THE DAUGHTER of a chief constable was found guilty yesterday of assaulting two police officers in her father's force after she drank a litre of cider.

Brighton magistrates' court was told that Frances Whitehouse, 18, from Hove, East Sussex - whose father is Paul Whitehouse, Sussex Chief Constable - pushed and swore at an officer and kicked another in the head after they tried to break up a fight between her and a man.

PCs Paul Ashman and Anthony Spalding were called to an incident in Brighton one evening in April. PC Ashman said that when he asked Whitehouse if she needed help, she pushed him and swore at him, leaving him in fear of violence.

When he told her he was arresting her, she started to struggle, and PC Spalding had to step in to help handcuff her.

PC Ashman said that on the way to Brighton police station the defendant lashed out at PC Spalding, who was driving, kicking him on the left side of his face. He said he was left with bruising and a headache.

Whitehouse pleaded not guilty to assaulting police and another charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting words and behaviour.

The court heard that she told police she had drunk a litre of White Lightning cider that evening. She added that she took regular medication including two inhalers for asthma and had been feeling unwell.

Under questioning from John Baggs, for the defence, PC Spalding denied having made a comment about Whitehouse's father before she kicked him.

Mr Baggs asked how PC Ashman, who gave his weight as 14st, could have felt threatened when pushed by a woman far smaller than himself. The officer denied the push had been a "girlie" one, and said he had not known what she might do next.

Whitehouse will be sentenced in July after compilation of reports on her background.