TWO men from Tier Two Portsmouth who flouted government Covid rules by causing trouble in an Isle of Wight pub, in Tier One at that time, were handed hefty fines.

Caleb John Clarkson, of Cottage Grove, St Thomas, Southsea, and Archie Earnest Tanner, of Normandy Road, Hilsea, admitted living within a Tier Two area and, without reasonable excuse, participated in a gathering indoors, which comprised two or more people, on December 5 last year.

Clarkson also admitted assaulting an emergency worker, PC Benjamin Sharland, by beating, while Tanner pleaded guilty to obstructing a police officer in the execution of his duty at the Man in the Moon Wetherspoons public house in Newport.

The 18-year-olds went to the pub and drank a lot of beer that day — Tanner, a scaffolder, had eight pints and Clarkson, a site operative, five.

Police were conducting enquiries at the pub, routinely asking for names and addresses of people there.

When they asked Tanner and Clarkson for theirs, they refused to co-operate and, as Tanner tried to walk away, PC Sharland stopped him and applied handcuffs.

The officer, trying to hold Tanner, then had to deal with Clarkson, who acted aggressively to try to free his friend, said Liz Miller, prosecuting, at the Isle of Wight Magistrates' Court.

"While I had hold of Tanner, Clarkson walked directly at me, placing me in fear of violence," the officer said.

"Clarkson then lunged towards me, as I feared he would, and grabbed my right arm."

As the officer tried to pull free, Clarkson's tight grip caused injury to his fingers.

Clarkson was also restrained, with both men shouting and swearing — hurling vile insults at officers.

For both, James Cameron said his clients apologised for their actions, which in Clarkson's case was 'over the top'.

"They made a poor, silly decision, when they travelled from Tier Two to Tier One. If they had co-operated and not reacted the way they did, they wouldn't be in the dock," said Mr Cameron.

When sentencing them, presiding magistrate, Gillian Dale, said: "Some stupid decisions were made that day — stupid decisions which have turned out to be very expensive."

Both were fined £500 for breaching Covid regulations, with £85 costs.

Tanner was also fined £200 for obstruction, with a £70 victim surcharge, while Clarkson was handed a £300 fine for the assault and ordered to pay £50 compensation to the injured officer and an £80 victim surcharge.

Both men had no previous convictions.