A HAMPSHIRE councillor who waded in while police were trying to arrest a suspect ended up being arrested himself.

Two officers were carrying out a drugs search on a suspect and had him pinned to the ground when they were approached by Councillor Ian Tait, pictured.

Magistrates heard how Tait, a Winchester city councillor, repeatedly questioned what the officers were doing, even protesting the man’s innocence.

Sharon Douglass, prosecuting at Andover Magistrates Court, said the 49-year-old Conservative representative for St Michael ward, had approached PC David Brown and PC Cassandra Hakin, in Winchester High Street, at 1.50am on May 18.

They had arrested a suspect for a breach of bail who was on the floor as police conducted a drug search, the court was told.

She said Tait asked “what are you doing, it’s Monday night? What are you doing?

He’s innocent” and came close to PC Hakin, making her feel uncomfortable.

Despite being told to move away by PC Brown he kept saying “what’s he done?” and the officer then had to stop the search to deal with Tait telling him to leave the area, but he then accused the officer of assaulting him and again of victimisation, the court heard.

Miss Douglass said when he again refused to move away, police arrested him for being drunk and disorderly. That charge was dismissed and Tait instead admitted a charge of obstructing a police officer.

Tait, who mitigated for himself, said he had been drinking having had four beers and three whiskeys, but did not believe in his mind that he was drunk.

“I’m a challenging person, I spend a lot of my time involved in community activities both in constructive intercourse with the police and on other occasions challenging the police,” he said.

He said he still didn’t “feel that my actions that night were those of a criminal”, but accepted it was an offence in the eyes of the law.

He said he had not intended to intimidate PC Hakin and that the police had maybe not expected him to challenge them.

The court heard that he had pleaded guilty to the alternative charge immediately and was of previous good character.

Magistrates ordered Tait to pay a fine of £175.

After the case he said he would continue to challenge the conduct of police: “I think in my role as an elected councillor I’m there to challenge what was happening, what the police do, and I felt I was challenging them on that evening.

“I will challenge the police in all circumstances.”