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Man who spat at emergency service workers to be sentenced

Barrow-in-Furness Magistrates Court

A man who admitted assaulting an emergency worker after spitting in a police officer’s face is to be sentenced next month.

John White, 56, of Longway, Barrow-In-Furness admitted the offence and a second offence of threatening a person with a bladed article in a public place when he appeared at Barrow Magistrates’ court yesterday (27 April).

The court heard how White had been drinking with neighbours in Longway, Barrow on the evening of Friday, 24 April.

White had too much to drink and initially agreed to come inside to bed. However, he reappeared carrying knives and started making threats towards his neighbours.

He then had a knife at the throat of a neighbour’s pet dog before the dog was pulled away from him. White followed the man who had rescued the dog, still armed with the knife, saying “you’re going to get it now”.

The man then hit white over the head with a piece of wood and the police and ambulance were called.

Whilst being escorted into the ambulance White spat at a paramedic, who was wearing an apron, mask, glasses and gloves as part of Covid-19 precautions.

When challenged about his actions, White then spat into the eyes of a police constable.
In his police interview White said he could not recall much of the incident but denied intentionally spitting at either emergency worker, saying he had just been clearing his throat.

However, White admitted the charges at court and was remanded to appear at Preston Crown Court for sentencing on 29 May 2020.

Sergeant Paul Holmes said: “Emergency service workers should be able to go about their work free from fear of being spat at.

“Police officers and paramedics are on the front-line of the current crisis – both working in roles which will them into close physical proximity with someone potentially carrying the virus.

“This was a particularly callous act given the current national health crisis. Not only did White spit into the face of a police officer but also spat at a paramedic who had been sent to help him.”

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