Arts Lodge eviction police assaults: more than £200 raised to pay court bill

Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis
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CAMPAIGNERS have raised more than £200 for a man convicted of assaulting police officers during an eviction.

Mark Lewis, 49, was found guilty of the assaults over the Portsmouth City Council-ordered eviction at the Arts Lodge on February 7.

Mr Lewis had run the lodge for 17 years claiming it brought in £4.2m for the city over the period.

As reported, the council warned him in May last year it would end a 10-year contract mid-way after it was signed in 2012.

Police were called by a council officer who was concerned on the morning of the eviction.

A judge at Brighton Magistrates’ Court ordered Lewis, of no fixed address, to pay £200 compensation to a PC after throwing a table, which hit another table and went into the officer’s knee.

Lewis was convicted of the ‘reckless’ assault on Monday.

Now a crowd-funding website has raised £240 through 19 donations for him to pay off the money.

Artist Pete Codling is among the people to donate.

Posting on the JustGiving page Mr Lewis said: ‘This is a true community gesture that renews my faith in humanity and our city. Bless you all who helped.’

He added: ‘I have lost my whole life’s investment, given away many thousands of pounds worth of materials, furniture, and equipment this year as we don’t have much storage space whilst spending most of my time on paying debts.’