MP MIKE Hancock’s son has pleaded not guilty to assaulting a press photographer outside the Hancock family home.
Dean Hancock, 37, appeared at Fareham Magistrates’ Court yesterday facing the charge of assault causing actual bodily harm in connection with the incident involving Steve Reigate of the Daily Express.
It allegedly happened outside the Hancocks’ home in Rockingham Way, Portchester, on January 23.
Prosecuting, Andrew Newman argued that the assault should be classed as actual bodily harm because of the sustained nature of the attack, the alleged headbutt and the fact that it was against a person carrying out a public service for a newspaper.
He said: ‘During the course of the day the crown say Mr Hancock came out of the house with an umbrella shielding his mother as she climbed in to a vehicle and drove away.
‘He was ushering people away with the umbrella.
‘Shortly thereafter the defendant attacked the victim with a headbutt followed by punches.
‘He was taken to hospital.’
The victim did not suffer any broken bones, just bruising to his cheekbone and nose.
Dean Hancock pleaded not guilty and chose for the trial to be held at the court.
District judge Anne Arnold adjourned the case for trial on April 29.
Dean Hancock, who was at court wearing a suit, striped shirt and tie, was granted unconditional bail until the trial.
As previously reported, Mike Hancock, the MP for Portsmouth South, has been suspended from the Liberal Democrat party after allegations he sexually assaulted a vulnerable constituent were made public.
The MP strenuously denies the claims.
He quit the ruling Lib Dem group’s cabinet at Portsmouth City Council on February 3 and the local party agreed not to run a candidate against him in May.
When approached by The News after the hearing, Dean Hancock declined to comment.