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Man cleared of Merry Hill shooting told by judge to smile at cops
4:20pm Wednesday 16th October 2013 in News
A SEDGLEY man cleared of a shooting outside a Merry Hill nightspot has been advised by a judge to smile at cops.
Ruben Campbell assaulted a policeman because he felt he was being unfairly targeted by officers after being acquitted of trying to kill two bouncers.
Judge Robin Onions told 21-year-old Campbell that if he maintained he was being picked on by police he should make an official complaint adding: "The next time you see a policeman try smiling - it works."
Campbell - described by his barrister Gurdeep Garcha as a "known personality" in the area - had been cleared on two charges of attempted murder and possessing a revolver after the incident at the Envoy Club on The Waterfront.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charges and the jury, after retiring for over seven hours at the end of his three week trial, decided he was innocent.
But Mr Garcha told Wolverhampton Crown Court that when the police officers approached him in Dudley town centre a torch was shone in his face and he was convinced they were trying to provoke him.
He said it had been alleged five shots had been fired by Campbell outside the nightspot and two people were hit but since being cleared he felt police had focused on him because they were convinced he was a gang member.
Police clearly were of the opinion the jury came back with the wrong verdict, added Mr Garcha, and Campbell now felt they were following him all the time.
Since the shooting incident, he went on, Campbell, apart from one lapse, had been making determined efforts to stay out of trouble.
Campbell, of Westgate Close, admitted common assault on the police officer and failing to surrender to the custody of Dudley magistrates after being bailed.
He further admitted the offences constituted the breach of an eight month jail sentence suspended for two years for dangerous driving.
Judge Onions stressed the verdict of the jury in the trial had to be respected but he said Campbell must learn to be patient whenever he was seen by police officers.
He said Campbell must be polite and co-operative on all occasions and, if he did feel he was being unfairly treated, then he should take the matter through the official channels.
He told Campbell: "I don't know what it was that made you lose your temper, it may well be you lost your temper because of frustration. But, if police stop you again, you must be entirely co-operative."
Sally Cairns, prosecuting, said police officers were on patrol in Hillcrest Road, Dudley when they saw Campbell. They stopped their car and Campbell approached the vehicle and said: "What's your problem?"
One of the officers then made to get out of the car but Campbell pushed back his door hitting the man in the torso causing him some pain and discomfort.