A TV builder who starred in The Renovation Game has been cleared of assaulting two cops after flying into a “Godzilla” rage outside a McDonalds.
Huntley Thawe, 48, was today cleared of all charges after a court saw footage of him telling cops “You’re a f****** joke, I’m not under arrest” amid a dispute.
Thawe, a dad-of-two, was picking up his children, aged six and nine, from his estranged wife Anna Thawe, 41, when the pair got into a row over passports.
As the verdict was read out, the TV star shouted ‘yes’, leapt up in the air and clasped his hands to the sky.
Chair of the bench David Shadwell said: “This incident is a domestic issue about passports involving yourself and your ex-wife.
“As the disagreement escalated, you used your Citroen van to block in Mrs Thawe’s Volkswagen Beatle.
“You, Mr Thawe, approached her car and circled round, asking about the passports. It’s also said that you tried the door handles.
“It’s said that Mrs Thawe felt threatened and scared.
“You say that you made no threats and no threatening words or behaviour to anyone. But you also said that you had been loud and emotional.
“Those actions were unacceptable to many people, but we as magistrates have decided that it does not amount to causing alarm, harassment or distress.”
Adding the arrest was “unlawful” and Thawe was “entitled to use self-defence”.
Sarah Magill, defending, accused the police of “barbarically” punching her client and said he had been “persecuted and wronged”.
She added: “It’s important to consider that Huntley Thawe is a lively character with a loud voice.
A court had heard that cops were called to the scene after the TV star appeared to use his Citroen van to block in Mrs Thawe’s silver Volkswagen Beetle.
Thawe claimed that during the incident one of the police officers in question spoke to him “like I was a piece of s*** on the bottom of his shoe.”
The telly star was repeatedly pepper sprayed at the scene. Officers also punched him and struck him with a baton as police attempted to detain Thawe, the court was told.
Redditch Magistrate’s Court was also shown footage of the altercation filmed outside the fast food restaurant in Redditch, Worcs, on April 15 this year.
During the course of Thawe’s evidence, the session was repeatedly disrupted as the defendant needed to leave the courtroom to “cool down” and burst into tears as he recalled the dramatic events.
When asked by Sarah Heard, prosecuting, why he appeared to resist arrest after being pepper sprayed and punched, he said: “Slaves days are long gone.
“You don’t have to bow down to the law anymore.
“The safest place for a black man to be should be in his car. I haven’t had the chance to say all of this, because I didn’t get a police interview.
“I’ve seen Starsky and Hutch so many times that I know that you do get an interview. They said that I was a threat because I had the keys in my hands. So are you going to arrest every black man who has keys in his hands?”
He added: “I could tell that she wanted to wind me up, and I fell into her trap, and I apologise for that. I didn’t start shouting. I grabbed hold of the door handles, but I did not shout.”
Thawe then accused the police officers of assaulting him during the struggle that ensued.
He added: “PC Herlihy was the first person to put his hands on me.
“I never struck out at him. I would never ever hit a police officer. Never ever.
“I looked round and there was a copper round the side of the car. Another one then punched me in the face.
“I said: ‘Why are you punching me in the face?’.
“My eyes did not open after the first pepper spray, it was so painful. I couldn’t open my eyes for two hours after.
“I did not see the thump coming at all. Similarly, I do not remember being hit by the baton.
“I remember feeling those things, but because of my eyes I couldn’t see them. I just felt it.
“If I had had a police interview, I could have told you that I was sprayed three times.
“I didn’t assault anyone. I touched the police officers, but I was just waving my arms around in a defensive motion.
“I had no eyesight when I was coming out of the car. I could not have deliberately pulled the police officer because I couldn’t see what was going on.
“I was hit by the baton. That was after they had pepper sprayed me and punched me several times.
“You don’t even do that to a bank robber, do you?”
PC Simon Riley, of West Mercia Police, told the court he was the first to arrive at the scene with his colleague PC Herlihy at around 12.40pm.
He said: “The defendant pointed to PC Herlihy and I, and said: ‘I’m looking at you and I’m looking to you to get those passports.’
“He was very demanding. We asked him to speak to us in a more polite and respectful manner.
“He said: ‘I’m a civilian, you’re civil servants and I’m asking you to get those passports now’.
“The defendant said: ‘I’m not moving my car until you two get those passports’.
“He was louder, angrier and shouting. PC Herlihy said that he could be arrested for breaching the peace and obstruction of the highway, to which he said: ‘You’re a joke’.
“When the defendant again failed to comply, PC Herlihy started to arrest him, but as he was reading the sentence the man shouted over him, saying: ‘You’re a joke, I’m not under arrest’.”