Snowball man in court on assault charge

A man has appeared in court charged with assault after he threw a snowball at a police officer.

Dean Smith, 31, was arrested by Derbyshire Police at his home in Swadlincote three days after he threw the snowball earlier this month.

He was later charged with common assault and appeared at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

He now faces an anxious wait to find out if the police and Crown Prosecution Service decide to continue with criminal proceedings or to caution him.

Speaking outside the court after his hearing, Smith said he thought it was a joke when police turned up on his doorstep to arrest him and said he should have been given a caution in the first place rather than wasting taxpayers' money.

"My solicitor was in absolute pieces", he said. "He says that it's a story he will be telling all his family on Christmas morning. If they do decide to caution me I expect an apology for wasting all this time."

A Derbyshire Police spokesman said he could not comment on the case as proceedings were still active. But he said: "Yes, he was in court for common assault for throwing a snowball.

"In general terms we don't bring charges lightly."

If the case proceeds Smith will appear again at the same court on January 12, but if the CPS decides to drop the charge he will be given a caution and will not have to appear in court again.