Ex soldier’s arrest for wrapping belt around hand in Mansfield fracas

Court latest
Court latest

A former soldier who “stood his ground” and broke up a fight in Mansfield was arrested for wrapping a belt around his hand, a court heard.

Alan Briggs was arrested as he sat in a taxi, after witnesses mentioned his earlier involvement in the fracas outside the Stag and Pheasant pub, on Clumber Street, at 1.45am, on February 3.

“He began drinking at 7pm and had drunk about 15 pints of lager,” said prosecutor Robert Carr.

“He told police that he remembers his friend getting involved in a fight, and recalls wrapping his belt around his hand in case.”

A small amount of cocaine was found on Briggs at the police station.

Chris Perry, mitigating, said: “A witness saw him break up the fight. He is doing his utmost to prevent violence. But then Mr Briggs goes on to say - “I didn’t run. I stood my ground.””

He said Briggs spent nine years in the infantry, with three tours of Afghanistan and one in Bosnia.

A conviction for assault in 2009 had followed “high spirits” and a “free bar” at a military function, following a tour of duty, the court heard.

“There is a fine line between guilty and not guilty, because he didn’t use any violence against anyone,” added Mr Perry.

“But his actions weren’t justified because an onlooker would have seen (the belt) as an action that was a preamble to violence.

“If only he hadn’t taken his belt off. He is not one to turn and run. He didn’t engage in unlawful violence, but there was the threat of it, and it’s in those cicrumstances that he enters a guilty plea.”

Briggs, 31, of Naples Crescent, Pleasley, admitted threatening behaviour and possession of a Class A drug, when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Friday.

He was fined £750, and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £75 government surcharge for the threats. He was fined £165 for possessing the drugs.

Two other men were arrested following the same incident, and are due to appear in court on February 28.