This week 60 years ago: Highbury survivor of Japanese prison camp in court for drunken violent attack on cadet

Islington Gazette: December 31, 1957

Islington Gazette: December 31, 1957 - Credit: Archant

A traumatised veteran who was once tortured in a Japanese prison camp had to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court for kicking a police cadet in the face.

Albert Smith, of Highbury New Park, pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly. The court heard he escaped from the prison, only to be recaptured and tortured.

The 39-year-old said that once he had a few drinks, he saw everyone as prison officers from his past life.

Pc Henry Hare said Smith had been ejected from a pub when he became violent and tried to re-enter.

The police cadet tried to restrain him, but Smith, lying on the ground, kicked him in the face.

During the hearing, Smith was asked if he recognised the cadet. Putting on his glasses, he said: “Good Lord! I’m very sorry.” Smith tried to shake his hand. The cadet didn’t accept it, but did smile at him.

The defendant got away with a conditional discharge, with magistrate Frank Milton telling him: “Heaven knows, you have had trouble enough.”