Portsmouth Arts Lodge pair appear in court

Alison Brett and Mark Lewis outside Portsmouth Magistrates' Court.
Alison Brett and Mark Lewis outside Portsmouth Magistrates' Court.

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A COUPLE who ran the Arts Lodge are to stand trial accused of assaults on police officers.

Mark Lewis, 48, and Alison Brett, 51, both of Clarence Parade, Southsea, held hands in the dock when they appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court today.

It comes after an alleged incident when the city council repossessed the Arts Lodge in Victoria Park in February.

Lewis ran Art and Soul Traders, which operated the centre until the council ended their contract.

He is charged with two counts of assaulting a constable in the execution of their duty. The alleged victims are PC Sinead Butler and PC Laurence McDevitt.

Lewis is also charged with using threatening, abusive, insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear of or provoke unlawful violence during on February 7.

Lewis denied those charges during the brief hearing but admitted possessing cannabis resin, a class B drug.

Brett denies one charge of assaulting PC McDevitt in the execution of his duty.

Magistrates released them on unconditional bail for a hearing on March 15.

Chairwoman of the bench Tina Over said: ‘The next step in this is there will be a case management hearing,’