Man spat at police officer

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A DRUNKEN thug abused a police officer and a paramedic as they tried to take him to hospital by ambulance after he claimed he had taken an overdose.

David Alan Bell screamed abuse and lashed out at the officers as they tried to help him, before he spat at the policeman and hit him in the chest and arm.

Bell was arrested after being stopped by staff at Barclays Bank, in the town’s York Road, from entering the branch for being drunk.

When police arrived at the bank they realised the 46-year-old was actually wanted for another offence, so arrested him and took him to Hartlepool Police Station where he “was highly unpredictable and lashed out at officers”.

While at the station, Bell, 46, told officers that he had been drinking and claimed he had taken 120 anti-depressant tablets, Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court was told.

Officers called for an ambulance and paramedics decided it would be best to take him to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, for observations and checks.

Prosecuting, Lorraine Cooper said: “He was placed on to a stretcher and a police officer accompanied him in the back of the ambulance.

“He became aggressive and was lashing out at the officer and paramedic.

“They handcuffed him and he again became aggressive and was shouting and being abusive.

“On two occasions he attempted to spit at the officer but the saliva hit the floor of the ambulance. He spat a third time and this landed on the officer’s left forearm and chest.”

It was then he was arrested for assaulting a police officer before being admitted to the hospital where staff deemed him fit and well.

Bell, of Tower Street, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer in the execution of his duty on May 24.

Mitigating, Adrian Morris said: “At the time of this offence he was very much at a low ebb suffering from alcohol dependency. This, however, is the 40th day that he has been dry.

“He can’t turn back the clock but he accepts his behaviour was appalling and he deeply regrets what happened.”

Chairman of the magistrates’ bench Peter Heron sentenced him to a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £50 compensation and £30 costs.