This particular article is a grey area for me... On one hand, it could be viewed as interfering with an officer performing their duty. It's not just against that particular person, it becomes against "the uniform" and undermines the authority. In that context it's bigger than the single action and he fully deserved punishment of some description. On the other hand, "The judge said he had caused the PCSO to suffer "embarrassment, distress and anxiety"." Embarrassment, sure - especially in the context of what was happening at the time. Distress and anxiety? That'd have to be contextual. Considering she was dealing with "a potential anti-social behaviour situation" at the time, it could have escalated the situation in a particularly nasty fashion - the people she was dealing with may well have thought "she won't do anything, look what that guy got away with" - in the moment I can see potential distress and anxiety. The article doesn't go into further detail, but if the judge meant "lasting embarrassment, distress and anxiety" - i.e. she was experiencing ongoing psychological effects - then hey, overreaction.