A defendant faces a trial after denying using threatening behaviour in Chester city centre.
Nicholas Crawshaw, 24, of Bailey Bridge Close, Chester, pleaded not guilty at Chester Magistrates’ Court to using threatening words, abuse or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.
A trial will take place before magistrates on the afternoon of Monday, October 23.
Prosecutor Michael Youds said the incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday, July 16, outside the Go Fresco takeaway in Northgate Street where a police officer witnessed ‘a commotion’.
Mr Youds said: “He sees Mr Crawshaw squaring up to a group of males, gesticulating towards them. He describes Mr Crawshaw as looking aggressive, swearing, clenching his fists.”
The prosecutor added: “The officer says he tried to reason with Mr Crawshaw and the other males - tried to calm the situation down but that failed.
“He says on several occasions Mr Crawshaw squared nose-to-nose with one of the other males and he had to force them apart. He described Mr Crawshaw as swearing towards the other male.
“He says he was going to issue Mr Crawshaw with a dispersal notice but he says he didn’t cooperate with it and he was subsequently arrested for the Public Order Act offence.”
Public distress claim
Asked to confirm by the clerk who the victims were in the case, Mr Youds alleged it was members of the public who were subject to harassment, alarm or distress.
Howard Jones, defending, said it was for the prosecution to prove their case. He stated there was CCTV evidence.
“Whether individuals were so concerned that they decided to make statements, I would suggest not,” commented Mr Jones. “The CCTV may show their reaction. If they stand and watch then I would suggest they are not harassed, alarmed or distressed. If they are running away then that is a different matter.”
Mr Crawshaw stated that it was three males that approached him and were ‘abusive towards him’.
Mr Jones argued the police case did not take that into account but solely focused on Mr Crawshaw’s reaction.
“He was waiting for a taxi. He would dispute he was even given a dispersal order. All he wanted to do was go home.”
The defendant was released on unconditional bail pending the trial.