Hartlepool man who spat at woman was found to have a knife

Hartlepool Law Courts, incorporating Hartlepool Magistrates' Court.

Hartlepool Law Courts, incorporating Hartlepool Magistrates' Court.

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A 42-year-old man who spat at his partner in the street was found to have a knife in his pocket when searched by police.

Robin Durrant failed to turn up for his trial on two charges at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court.

The bench heard the case against him in his absence.

Pc Timothy Swales told the court he was on duty in Hartlepool town centre before a Hartlepool v Mansfield football game.

“I was keeping an eye on some Mansfield fans who had just gone into a bookmaker’s,” said PC Swales.

“Durrant was arguing with the woman he was with, that is what drew my attention to them.

“I saw him spit at her, the spittle landed on her chest.

“There is no doubt in my mind it was a deliberate act.”

The court heard a colleague of PC Swales searched Durrant.

“The other officer found a knife Durrant’s pocket,” said PC Swales. “It had a short handle and a blade about two or 3in-long.

“Durrant said he had been given the knife a short time before.

“He said the spitting was an accident.”

Durrant, 42, of Elliott Street, Hartlepool, had previously denied assault by beating and possessing a bladed article, both in Whitby Street on March 23.

David Smith, defending, said he could offer no explanation for Durrant’s absence.

Mr Smith withdrew from the case before the trial started.

The magistrates found the case against Durrant proved.

“We find the evidence of the police officer to be clear, precise and credible,” said bench chairman Peter Bowes.

A warrant was issued for Durrant’s arrest.