Last drinks: Ian Brown on his way into court for sentencing yesterday.
Last drinks: Ian Brown on his way into court for sentencing yesterday.

Spitting attack ends in jail term

A MAN who spat in the eye and mouth of a female police officer and on her male colleague during his drunken arrest will serve a month in jail and two years probation.

Ian Jeffrey Brown, 18, appeared in the District Court in Warwick yesterday where he pleaded guilty to two counts of serious assault of a police officer and other offences.

His court date arose out of an incident at a Warwick hotel on Saturday, May 1, where an intoxicated Brown had an altercation withsecurity guards, at whom he tried to swing punches and spit.

The Crown Prosecutor told the court a male and female police officer attended the scene and tried to subdue Brown, who swore at them and refused to co-operate “without a f------ fight”.

The officers warned Brown they would use capsicum spray on him if he continued his tirade, which he did and was duly sprayed.

After being handcuffed, Brown was moved towards a waiting police vehicle at which time he spat in the female officer’s face, with saliva landing in her eye.

He then kicked the door of the police vehicle, causing $380 worth of damage, before spitting at thefemale officer a second time.

On this occasion, saliva entered her mouth and ended up on theforearm of her male colleague.

The police involved tendered statements to the court in which the female officer told of her fear of contracting a disease and passing it on to her three-year-old child.

Both she and the male officer suffered emotional trauma as a result of Brown’s revolting behaviour and endured a long series of blood tests.

Fortunately for the officers and their loved ones, Brown – who has a previous conviction for fighting in the street – was later found to be disease-free.

Brown’s defence counsel Robbie Davies told the court his client had been on a night out with mates and had “too many to drink”, but conceded this was no excuse for spitting at police.

His Honour Judge Richard Jones noted Brown’s youth, his co-operation with the justice system and his remorse, also acknowledging he was in full-time employment in a conservation program and played football for two local clubs, all of which suggested he was capable of rehabilitation and being a “useful member of the community”.

But he also told Brown the community found spitting at police was a contemptuous and unacceptable form of behaviour and quoted Chief Justice Paul de Jersey’s remarks from a previous case involving a man who spat at police.

The Chief Justice said “those who treat a police officer in this way should ordinarily expect to be imprisoned” and that it was “abhorrent that a police officer re- sponsibly going about his or herbusiness be subject to the indignity and risk of being spat upon”.

Chief Justice de Jersey also pointed to the risk of disease from spitting and its display of contempt for civil authority.

Judge Jones ordered Brown to comply with his probation after his month inside, including regular reporting to Corrective Services and staying on the right side of the law.

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