The son of Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock has been sentenced for punching and head-butting a press photographer outside the family home in January this year.
The MP for Portsmouth South was making headlines at the time as he was being sued in the High Court by a "vulnerable" female constituent who alleged that he sexually assaulted her. The 68-year-old, who has since settled the court action, had just been suspended from the Liberal Democrat Party.
District Judge Anne Arnold described the attack, which happened outside the Hancock family home in Rockingham Way, Portchester, Fareham, Hampshire, on 23rd January this year as a "red mist situation".
She sentenced Dean Hancock to a 12-month community order comprising of 200 hours unpaid work and ordered that he pay a total of £2,951.20 in compensation and court costs.
Dean Hancock, son of Portsmouth MP Mike Hancock, has been ordered to pay £2,000 in compensation for head-butting and punching a press photographer outside the family home. He has also been ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
Portsmouth Magistrates Court was told Dean Hancock had expressed regret at his "loss of control" and accepted that he was the more aggressive party when he attacked Steve Reigate of the Daily Express with "tremendous force".
The 38-year-old unemployed pipe-fitter was found guilty of causing the photographer actual bodily harm and criminal damage to a camera lens and flashgun belonging to Mr Reigate.
MP Mike Hancock has apologised for giving the impression that one of his constituents had sued him in order to try to make financial gain.
The Portsmouth MP had issued statements on his website saying that his constituent had been trying to "sue me for money", but has now acknowledged this was not the case.
He also apologised for not doing more to resolve the dispute with the woman more quickly.
I accept that you did not bring the claim for financial gain and any statements make to the contrary were wrong. I also acknowledge that you have fought for many years to hold me to account, and that this should been resolved far sooner. I my self would have wished for it to be resolved far earlier and I am sorry that it wasn't."
MP Mike Hancock has issued a lengthy apology to the woman who alleged that he sexually assaulted her, acknowledging that his behaviour had been "inappropriate and unprofessional".
The apology forms part of a settlement agreement after the constituent, who has remained anonymous, brought a civil case against Mr Hancock.
In October 2009 you first came to me as a constituent to seek my assistance as your MP and councillor. Subsequently and over several months I came to your home on several occasions, sometimes unannounced and conducted a friendship with you that was inappropriate and unprofessional.
I understand that you felt degraded. I did not treat you with sufficient respect. I made you feel deeply uncomfortable and discriminated against, and I crossed the line...
I can only apologise unreservedly to you for any distress, anger and worsening of your psychiatric condition that I caused.
A man has been arrested after clashing with a member of the press outside the home of the Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock. The photographer was left with a bloody nose after the incident today, in an altercation with Mr Hancock's 37- year-old son.
The politician was suspended from the Liberal Democrat party last night after a leaked report into alleged sexual impropriety with a female constituent. He denies any wrong-doing.
Mr Hancock remains a city councillor - and an independent MP. Sally Simmonds reports.