Eric Dawson is sent to four months in prison after assaulting HSE inspector Martin Smith, and causing criminal damage.

A builder has been sentenced to four months in prison for assaulting a health and safety inspector and causing criminal damage.

Eric Dawson assaulted Martin Smith on 16 September 2003 after Smith had called Dawson down from a platform he was working on in Russel Walk, Hartlepool.

Dawson was working 5m above a pavement without any means to prevent himself, tools or materials from falling onto passers-by below.

Timothy Walker, HSE’s director general said: “It is completely unacceptable for the HSE inspectors to be attacked. They must be able to carry out their work preventing accidents free from the fear of assault.”

“I am really pleased to see the courts acting to protect HSE Inspectors from assault during the course of their work.”