Autistic chef attacks police officer with a baseball bat after being fired

An autistic chef drank almost a litre of vodka, armed himself with a baseball bat, and hit a police officer after his boss got rid of him "out of the blue," a court heard.

Wednesday, 18th October 2017, 3:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 12:45 pm
The defendant has oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD.

Burnley magistrates were told how upset Alexander Smith, who also has oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD, had left his home at 6.30am and was wandering the streets, wearing only his boxer shorts.

When police - called by his worried mum - found him, he was holding the bat as if it was a dagger, had a shard of wood which had broken off it in his other hand and was verbally aggressive. Smith began to walk off, was ordered to put the weapon down, refused and was PAVA sprayed.

The 23-year-old was taken to the ground and restrained and lashed out and struck an officer with the bat, causing a cut to the inside of his lip. The defendant, who is on medication and receives disability living allowance, has not touched a drop of alcohol since the incident.

His solicitor, Mr Mark Williams, told the hearing Smith had got himself all worked up after the landlord at the pub restaurant where he had worked rang and said they did not want to employ him anymore.

"That was a real blow," said Mr Williams. "It's accepted he perhaps doesn't have the skills to deal with that particular situation."

The defendant, of Gisburn Road in Barnoldswick, admitted possessing an offensive weapon in Valley Gardens in the town, affray, and police assault on September 14th. He has no previous convictions.

He was given a 12-month community order, with a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement, was fined £25, and must pay £75 compensation, an £85 victim surcharge, and £85 costs. The bench chairman told him to work with the probation service and mental health team. Smith answered: "You will never see me here again. I'm sorry."

Miss Parveen Akhtar, prosecuting, said police received a report from Smith's mother, who said her son was drunk and "kicking off," had damaged the bathroom, and was being abusive.

Police arrived and were told the defendant had made made off from the house. They searched for him and found him with the bat and the shard of wood.

Mr Williams told the court that Smith had drunk "the best part of three quarters of a litre of vodka" in his room after the phone call from the landlord.

The solicitor continued: "He went out of the property, bizarrely going out wearing nothing but his underwear and took his dad's mini baseball bat, with a view to what he cannot say."

Mr Williams said Smith panicked when he was PAVA sprayed and struck the officer in the face during the course of a struggle. The solicitor went on: "He has been on an anger management course and is due to be assessed by the mental health team."

"He apologised during interview."