Cable puller from Hartlepool fined for spitting at police officer after being arrested and taken into custody

Spitting at a police officer landed a Hartlepool man before the court.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 10:37 am

Stephen Meredith, 44, of the town’s Kimberley Street, admitted assault on an emergency worker when he appeared at Teesside Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecuting, Emma Cruickshank, said the defendant was arrested by police after he failed to turn up to court for the original hearing on January 8.

However, the court was told that he knew nothing of the initial hearing because the notification had gone to a wrong address.

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The case was heard at Teesside Magistrates' Court
The case was heard at Teesside Magistrates' Court

Ms Cruickshank said the assault took place on September 21 last year when the police officer was on duty at the police station at 10.30pm.

She said the officer was trying to book Meredith into custody.

She said: “The defendant was agitated and animated in his behaviour.”

Ms Cruickshank said the officer feared someone was going to get assaulted and because of Meredith’s obstructive behaviour he decided that he should be taken to a cell.

She said the defendant started to struggle and had to be restrained.

She said: “The defendant dropped to his knees at this point. The defendant lifted his head up and spat towards him hitting his left arm.”

Belinda Dobson, defending, said: “Mr Meredith has entered a guilty plea. In my view, having spoken to him before the hearing, he has shown remorse. Through myself he offers his apologies for his behaviour.

“It is extremely out of character, he has no offences of violence on his record whatsoever.”

She said her client is a cable puller and works in Germany and Scotland a lot and was coming back from working in Germany when he was arrested for missing his first appearance.

Ms Dobson said: “The reason he didn’t attend court is that he was totally unaware of the court proceedings and the police had the wrong address.”

Meredith was fined £448 and ordered to pay £50 compensation, £85 costs and a surcharge of £44.