Shamed TV star John Alford admits smashing windscreen in bin lorry ‘hijack’

Disgraced TV star John Alford has pleaded guilty to smashing a windscreen in a bin lorry ‘hijacking’ and resisting arrest.

The ex London’s Burning star broke into the Veolia lorry while it did its morning rounds near his home in Holloway, north London.

A hearing at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court heard how a refuse worker spotted the 47-year-old actor – real name is John Shannon – getting into the vehicle in York Way at 7.15am on September 1.

Police attended and noted that Alford was seemingly under the influence as he began resisting arrest.

First, Alford argued with attending officers Police Constables Darren Baker and Miranda Narcin and claimed he was trying to stop the vehicle rolling back, but they all fell to the ground as he resisted their attempts to restrain him.


The court was shown PC Narcin’s body-cam footage of the ex-star – whose career ended when he was convicted of supplying drugs to now-discredited News of the World journalist Mazher Mahmoodn in 1999 – as she approached him and asked, "What’s up with you trying to drive the refuse lorry?"

He replied: "I never, it rolled back and I tried to stop it."

PC Baker went into to arrest him and he started shouting: "I saved that car from rolling into another car and you are breaking my arm.

"You all corrupt bast**ds.

"My name is John Alford, I’m fighting Rupert Murdoch and corrupt police officers."

He went on to claim former PM David Cameron, former Met Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens, editor Rebecca Brooks, News of the World investigations editor ‘fake sheikh’ Mazher Mahmood and senior prosecutors were in "cahoots" with the now defunct paper.

His legs were strapped together as more officers arrived and the court also heard him yell: "Did Rupert Murdoch (former News of the World proprietor) send you here to kill me?"

Alford was due to stand trial but prosecutors dropped two charges of assaulting the constables as the case was due to open. He pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage by throwing a bin at the bin lorry’s windscreen, and resisting PCs in the execution of their duty.

Prosecutor Matthew Groves said the driver of the Veolia, Stuart Pickles, and a colleague were on their morning run when Shannon attacked.

He said: "I think it was suspected that be under the influence of something.

"At about 7.15am in the morning Mr Pickles stopped the vehicle outside premises in York Way.

"He and his colleague went to the rear of the vehicle door to load some refuse in. As they did that they heard a female voice scream, ‘he’s got in’.

"Mr Pickles went to the front of the vehicle and found Mr Shannon sitting in the front seat.

"He told him to get out of the vehicle.

"Mr Shannon didn’t do that so Mr Pickles thought to physically remove him.

Mr Shannon resisted so Mr Pickles removed the keys from the ignition and told Mr Shannon he was going to call the police.

Mr Shannon got out of the vehicle at that point. He went into a nearby shop, returned, began a conversation with Mr Pickles and picked up a nearby black plastic bin which he threw it at the windscreen of the truck.

"That resulted in the vehicle’s windscreen shattering. The estimated cost of repair being £300.

"Mr Pickles, having reported Mr Shannon’s behaviour by means of a 999 call, the first officers to attend were Police Constables Miranda Narcin and Darren Baker.

"PC Narcin initially engaged with Mr Shannon whilst her colleague PCBaker took details from Mr Pickles.

"Having learned of the allegation of criminal damage to the refuse collection vehicle PC Baker then approached his colleague PC Narcin and Mr Shannon – PC Baker sought to arrest Mr Shannon and indeed did so."

Shannon looked down to the floor as Mr Groves said: "Mr Shannon immediately began to physically resist both of the officers.

"PC Narcin at that point activated her emergency alarm button on her personal radio, alerting colleagues to the threat to the officers.

"Mr Shannon continued to resist as the officers attempted to apply handcuffs to him.

"During the struggle PC Narcin fell heavily to her knees. PC Baker was struck by Mr Shannon’s foot to his stomach area but that was over his protective vest that he was wearing at the time.

"PC Narcin was on her knees and as the struggle ensued her knees were ground into the pavement or the road, causing injury.

"Ultimately PCs Narcin and Baker were joined by two other colleagues, PCs Pierre and Burton and Mr Shannon was brought under control.

"He was then taken to Holborn police station, where he was interviewed later that day.

"In interviews he said to the police that he admitted causing criminal damage to the bin lorry but denied he had assaulted the officers.

"He said that the police officer who had applied the handcuff to him used unnecessary force and he had pleaded with him to stop breaking his arm.

"He said he tried to stop the officer hurting him but denied that he had kicked him.

"He denied assaulting either of the officers.

"Ultimately Mr Shannon was charged as you know, with criminal damage and two allegations of assaulting a PC."

PCs Narcin and Baker sat in the public gallery during the hearing.

She said she suffered bruising covering both her knee caps after the alleged assault in a statement to the court.

She said: "My knees were noticeably painful for a number of days and I was aware of the pain in them , ultimately having to take pain killers for at least two days in order to perform my day to day work.

"I"m aware on some occasions members of the public do not like to deal with police.

"However this annoyance in their part does not in my opinion give them permission or reason to behave in such an aggressive manner and actually assault police officers in the act of doing their job."

District Judge Gillian Allison adjourned the case for a probation officer to interview Shannon.

She said she was yet to hear from Shannon’s lawyer, Geoffrey Payne, and said: "I’m considering a community order in your case before I finally decided to deal with you."

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