Man spat at police officer and paramedic and abused hospital staff after drinking session on Shetland

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A Hartlepool man has admitted drunkenly spitting at a paramedic and a police officer before abusing hospital staff.

Stephen Whitehead, 32, pleaded guilty to assaulting, obstructing or hindering an ambulance paramedic and assaulting a police officer by spitting at and striking her on the body during the incident on the Shetland Islands.

Both incidents took place at Lerwick’s South Road in the early hours of Friday. He also admitted breaching the peace at the Gilbert Bain Hospital by shouting, swearing and uttering threats.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie, at Lerwick Sheriff Court, said Whitehead was found at around 3.30am on Friday at the Lerwick Hotel beside a fire exit “very drunk indeed”.

The court heard he had urinated over himself and was mumbling incoherently, and police called an ambulance.

By the time it arrived Whitehead had come round from his “drunken stupor” and his behaviour “deteriorated quite dramatically”.

He spat at and narrowly missed a female paramedic, before spitting at a policewoman before officers had time to fit a spit hood over his head. In hospital he threatened to throw a bottle filled with his own urine over a nurse.

The fiscal said that an A&E department would invariably contain people in a “very dire situation” and “the last thing they should have to contend with is disgusting behaviour like that”.

Richard Donaldson, defending, said his client had no recollection of the events, but was “absolutely disgusted” by his actions.

Whitehead, who is in Shetland working as a contractor for a small local construction firm, had gone out drinking with colleagues after work on Thursday.

Mr Donaldson said Whitehead did not drink very often due to a bowel condition.

He said there was a likelihood that Whitehead would lose his job – which was disputed by the fiscal.

Sheriff Philip Mann, ordered reports prior to sentence, and granted bail prior to sentencing on June 8 warning Whitehead of Moffatt Road, Hartlepool, that all options would be considered.