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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Barrow man jailed 90 days after spitting at police officer

A BARROW man has been jailed after he was found guilty of spitting at a police officer.

Peter Liam Johnson, 21, faces spending 90 days in prison after being found guilty of assaulting a police constable on duty.

Johnson denied the charge and told Furness Magistrates’ Court that he had been assaulted by police officers.

Yesterday, the court heard that police were called to Johnson’s house in Greengate Street, Barrow, after a disturbance.

Prosecuting, Mr John Appleby said that PC Kevin Bestford and PC Philip Johnson were called out to the street at around 3.20am on May 26.

The officers found a man with a head wound at the house.

A woman who was in the property said he had been injured when he was hit with a pool cue by Johnson.

Johnson was seen by PC Bestford in the vicinity of the property and arrested in nearby School Street.

PC Bestford told the court that he walked the defendant back to Greengate Street and although Johnson was initially compliant, he began shouting at the man and the woman who were in the house.

A police van was called for Johnson to be detained in, and as he was put in the van the court heard he spat in PC Johnson’s face.

PC Bestford said: “I heard a spitting noise and then saw PC Johnson wiping his face.”

Defending, Mr Mike Graham suggested that the defendant had been thrown into the van with force, but PC Bestford denied this.

PC Johnson told the court that the defendant was shouting and swearing when he was brought back to Greengate Street, before spitting at him as he was being put in the van.

Mr Graham suggested that the defendant had not spat at the officer, and that the allegation had been made up after officers roughed him up.

PC Johnson replied: “That is not correct.”

The court heard Mr Johnson had assaulted officers on three separate occasions, and he said that he had pleaded guilty to these past charges but did not spit in PC Johnson’s face so issued a not guilty plea.

District judge Mr Gerald Chalk said he had no reason to doubt the officers’ evidence and although there was evidence to suggest the defendant may have been assaulted, it was not within his duties to determine this.

No action was taken over the alleged pool cue attack.

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