Dean Hancock convicted of assaulting photographer

Dean Hancock outside court today Picture: Victoria Jones/Solent News
Dean Hancock outside court today Picture: Victoria Jones/Solent News

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MP Mike Hancock’s son was this afternoon convicted of attacking a photographer.

Dean Hancock, 37, had denied assaulting national press photographer Stephen Reigate outside Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock’s family home in Rockingham Way, Portchester.

But magistrates decided he had headbutted and punched Mr Reigate on a day when Mike Hancock faced scrutiny from the media over claims he sexually assaulted a female constituent - which he strongly denies.

Dean Hancock was also found guilty of causing £1,990 worth of damage to a Canon camera belonging to Mr Reigate.

The incident occurred after journalists and photographers went to Hancock’s residence after his father was suspended by the Liberal Democrat party on January 23 this year.

During the trial there was dispute over the head butt to Mr Reigate and if Hancock was acting in self defence.

Hancock denied it and said he was punched in the stomach by Mr Reigate which started off the altercation.

But District Judge Arnold said his evidence wasn’t credible and found him guilt of both accounts.

She said: ‘I believe that in law, both the injuries that he suffered admitted to actual bodily harm.’

Hancock was released on unconditional bail and is due to be sentenced on June 25.

Earlier, magistrates were hearing evidence when Ms Kate Watts, defending, drew attention to the noise coming from the public gallery.

During this time, Hancock, speaking from the dock, said a man who had an injunction stopping him being near the Hancock family was present.

The man, Les Cummings, faces court later this year over claims he stalked Mike Hancock between February and September last year.

As part of his bail conditions, he is not allowed to go near the Hancocks.

The court was adjourned while the judge made a decision on whether to continue.

After ten minutes, the court proceeded after the injunction details against Mr Cummings were checked.

Magistrates then decided that Mr Cummings, 70, of Landport, Portsmouth, could stay, as the terms stated he has to stay away from Mike Hancock and his wife Jacqui, and no restrictions have been made about their son.