A MURDER squad detective was “absolutely legless” when he ripped off his shirt and attacked a holidaymaker in a pub, shouting “I’m a copper – I will do what I like,” a court was told.

Det Sgt Paul Whiteley, 50, also hurled foul-mouthed abuse at the mother of an autistic teenager, it was claimed.

He launched the “unprovoked attack” after sharing bottles of wine with his girlfriend Claire Hughes, 43, of Fulford Place, in York, it was alleged.

The court was told that as the couple left the Fylingdales Inn, in Fylingthorpe near Whitby – still carrying an open bottle of wine – they were followed by Carl Sarsfield, 41, an electrician, from Oldham.

Scarborough Magistrates yesterday heard Mr Sarsfield had been asked to have a word with the couple when the pub barmaid spotted them heading for their car.

He said: “I went out there and asked him politely if he was drinking and driving.”

He claimed Whiteley, who was getting in the passenger side, replied; “I’m not driving – she is.’”

Mr Sarsfield said he objected: “She is legless as well.”

The court heard that Mr Sarsfield rejoined his girlfriend Paula Crossley, 41, of Royton, Oldham, and her 19-year-old autistic daughter Mia in the pub, but Hughes and Whiteley also came back into the pub and things became “heated,” Mr Sarsfield said.

He said Whiteley slapped him in the face and he defended himself and the police officer ended up on his back.

He added: “He was absolutely legless. He could hardly stand up. He was falling all over the place.”

Miss Crossley said Whiteley then ripped his shirt off, slung it towards the bar and shouted at Mr Sarsfield.

She said: “He was shouting ‘I’m a copper – I will do what I like.’ He was paralytic. They were both blind drunk.

“My initial reaction was to get my daughter away from what was going on.”

She claims Hughes then “grabbed me by the throat” as Mia “screamed her head off”.

Miss Crossley, a full time carer, said her daughter was hysterical and added: “I managed to get hold of my daughter. The man’s girlfriend was still grabbing hold of handfuls of my hair and Carl pulled her off.

“She was trying to punch me in the head at the same time.”

The court heard police were called and Whiteley, of West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, told the pub: “Let them come. I’m a police officer. I will sort it out.”

Miss Crossley said as they waited for police to arrive Whiteley shouted abuse about her child.

The court heard he was arrested after the incident around 9.30pm on May 29, last year.

Prosecutor Martin Hawes described both attacks as “unprovoked” and denied Whiteley was acting in self defence.

Whiteley, of Grange Moor, Wakefield, and Hughes, of Fulford Place, Hospital Fields Road, York, both deny assault by beating. The trial continues.