A private landlord in Doncaster has been found guilty of pushing a council officer down stairs during an inspection of his rented property.
A court heard that Brian Goodwin of Thealby Gardens, DN4, prevented two City of Lincoln Council private housing officers from carrying out their legal duty to determine whether his property was safe to licence by the council as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in July last year.
During the officers’ inspection of the house on Union Road in Lincoln, the landlord told both officers to vacate the property before assaulting one of them which prevented them from continuing their safety inspection.
The court was told that Goodwin seized one of the officers from behind in a bear hug before attempting to physically kick him out of the property, which led to the officer being forcefully pushed down the stairs.
City of Lincoln Council prosecuted the landlord as agents for the Crown Prosecution Service following a police investigation into the assault and battery, which resulted in grazed and bruised elbows, as well as abdominal bruising.
Goodwin was also ordered to pay a fine of more than £1,600 for assaulting the officer, along with £50 in compensation to the official he had assaulted.
Sara Boothright, environmental health & corporate safety manager at City of Lincoln Council, commented: “We are pleased with the magistrates’ verdict and happy that justice has been served. Under the circumstances, it was the right and proper outcome. The landlord’s behaviour was completely unacceptable and these prosecutions send out a strong message that we do not tolerate this kind of behaviour against our staff.
“The bench increased the fine because Mr Goodwin’s actions were directed at representatives of the council who were in the course of carrying out their duties. The prosecutions highlight the importance of treating our staff with respect and letting them carry out our safety inspections.”