Hartlepool man who spat at cop after armed police stand-off at his home

A man spat at a police officer after he was arrested for allegedly threatening a woman with an imitation firearm.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 13 July, 2019, 11:36
Teesside Crown Court.

Philip Keenan denied a firearms offence, but admitted assaulting an emergency worker and possessing cannabis.

A jury at Teesside Crown Court found Keenan not guilty of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence after a short trial.

Prosecutor Stephen Duffield told the jury a woman was leaving her grandparents’ house in Hartlepool with her dog when she spotted a man in the street.

“He was staggering and she formed the impression he was drunk or on drugs,” said Mr Duffield.

“Her dog started to bark, so she bent over to calm it.

“As she looked up, she could see he was pointing a gun at her.

“She described it as metal, and like something you see in cowboy films with a cylinder where the bullets go.”

Mr Duffield said she recognised the man as ‘one of the Keenan boys’ who live nearby.

“She later picked Philip Keenan out of an identity parade,” Mr Duffield added.

“Armed police were sent to Keenan’s home.

“He surrendered after a short time.

“In interview, he mostly made no comment, but he did say it was only a spud gun.

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“Because of his condition, he was taken to hospital.

“It was during this transfer that he spat at one of the police officers.

“A small amount of cannabis was found during a body search.”

Keenan, 40, of Jarvis Walk, Hartlepool, denied possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence on January 30.

The court heard a second witness failed to pick him out of an identity parade.

Keenan told the jury he was not outside the house on that day.

He said he had either not made the remarks to the police, or if he had, he had said them as a joke.

Judge Stephen Ashurst sentenced Keenan to three months in prison for assaulting an emergency worker, and one month to run concurrently for possession of cannabis.

The judge told him: “Spitting at anyone is a disgusting thing to do.

“However, you have been in custody for many months on remand.

“This will count towards the sentence I have passed, which means you will be released as soon as the prison formalities have been completed.”