A MAN pelleted a police van with a rock as officers tried to break up party-goers breaching coronavirus lockdown rules.

After smashing the windscreen of the van parked on Crummock Grove, Ashley Howarth tried to flee by throwing himself over a fence into a nearby garden.

But he was caught after officers Tazered him and at Bolton Magistrates' Court the 33-year-old was fined £100 and ordered to pay Greater Manchester Police £500 for the damaged van.

Police van damaged in Crummock Grove

Police van damaged in Crummock Grove

Janice Vallancee, prosecuting, told how police were called to Crummock Grove, Farnworth, at 10pm on August 22 last year where a party was in full swing with around 50 people, including Howarth, present.

"Whilst the officers were in the garden they were made aware that a man in a red t-shirt had thrown a rock or a brick through the police van windscreen," said Ms Vallancee.

Howarth tried to run off, throwing a bin at officers pursuing him and jumped over a fence.

"Because of this, the defendant, for his troubles, was Tazered," said Ms Vallancee.

Howarth, who has several previous convictions, pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage.

Samantha Cole, defending, said Howarth initially believed police would not be able to identify him because there were lots of people on the street.

"He accepts that on that day he did throw a stone or a rock," said Mrs Cole.

"He doesn't know that it caused damage because he says he threw it and then ran off from the scene."

She added that other people were involved in the incident, during which further vehicles were damaged.

"He accepts it was a stupid thing to have done and he has expressed remorse," said Mrs Cole.

Crummock Grove

Crummock Grove

Other people at the party, which featured a gazebo in the garden, music equipment and party lights, were given cautions and fixed penalty notices. At Manchester Magistrates' Court three days later a closure order was made banning anyone except the occupier, from being at the property for a month.

READ MORE: Police break up illegal party

At the time Chief Insp Steph Parker of Bolton police said: “This is a good result for the community and should serve as a warning to any others who believe that they can flagrantly ignore COVID-19 regulations without consequence.

"It is vitally important, for the safety of everyone, that local lockdown measures are adhered to and we'd urge anyone who believes a breach of regulations is taking place to contact police."