Drunk spat in police officer’s face

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A man who spat in a police officer’s face and threatened to harm his family faced Burnley Magistrates’ Court this week.

The Chairman of the Bench described Asif Mahmood’s behaviour as “reprehensible and disgusting”.

Mahmood swore at PC Anthony Doherty after he was arrested for being drunk and disorderly in Burnley town centre in the early hours of New Year’s Eve. He threatened to harm PC Doherty’s family and spat in his face after he was arrested.

The chairman told the 29-year-old defendant: “It is a vile and filthy thing to spit in someone’s face and especially when this police office was doing his job.”

The Bench heard Mahmood was among a group of drunken men causing a disturbance in Hammerton Street, Burnley, around 2-30am. After police officers asked them to calm down and move on, Mahmood did this but was spotted 15 minutes later staggering and swaying in the street.

Mrs Alex Mann prosecuting said: “PC Doherty spoke to the defendant and he was behaving in a very drunk and aggressive manner.

“He was swearing and making threats towards PC Doherty’s family and accusing him of being racist and it was clear people in the area were alarmed and disgusted by this behaviour.”

Mahmood of Hawk Street, Burnley, was placed into a police van to give him the chance to calm down but Mrs Mann said his behaviour became more aggressive and unpredictable.

He was driven to the police station and, as he was being removed from the van to the custody suite, spat at PC Doherty, hitting him on the side of his face and eye.

Mrs Mann said while spitting was not normally classed as assault it could be considered as such in these circumstances.

Mr Daniel Fraser (defending) said Mahmood was very disappointed in himself and offered a genuine apology to both the court and PC Doherty.

He said: “The last time he was before a court was in 2013 and that was also alcohol related.

“He has kept away from alcohol but on New Year’s Eve was persuaded to go out drinking with people he usually keeps away from.

“This was not something planned or pre-meditated and all in alcohol.”

The court heard that, although unemployed, Mahmood had been offered a job by a relative with their own business and was due to start training for that.

He admitted being drunk and disorderly in a public place and assaulting a police constable in the execution of their duty. He was fined £125 and ordered to pay £50 compensation to PC Doherty with £20 victim surcharge costs and £30 court costs.