Criminally funny...

Man arrested after laughing at Paul Merton

A man was handcuffed, arrested and charged – after laughing too much at Have I Got News For You.

Christopher Cocker, 36, guffawed so hard at a joke Paul Merton cracked on the BBC One show that he fell off his sofa. The thud startled his downstairs neighbour who thought he had collapsed, so called police.

But when Cocker refused to co-operate with the officers who arrived, he was arrested. He admitted in court to resisting a police officer and was given a six-month conditional discharge.

Officers said Cocker was initially co-operative but became 'aggressive' when they asked his name. He tried to shut his front door on them. He was eventually disabled with parva spray through the gap and arrested.

He was handcuffed, thrown into the back of a police van and dragged to a police cell.

Mr Cocker said: ‘I fell off the settee in hysterics and hit the floor. I got myself up and started carrying on watching the telly and the next thing I know there was a knock on the door.

'I hadn't had a drink or anything, I was just watching TV and all this happened. Paul Merton is one of my favourites. He's really funny.'

'I can't believe it - I was thrown in the back of a police van before being stripped naked and put in a cell.

But he admits he ‘lost it’ when the policeman stuck his foot in his door. His defence lawyer Jonathan Taylor told Blackburn Magistrates' Court: “With hindsight he should just have told the police what they wanted to know and they would have gone on their way.’

>> Watch Mr Cocker being interviewed on BBC News.

Published: 12 Jun 2008

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