Jailed for four months for spitting at police officers

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A 23-year-old man who spat at police officers and was disorderly in the hospital has been jailed for four months.

Caolan Fox, of Moss Park, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour and assaulting police on December 7, last year.

He also admitted causing damage to a police vehicle.

Derry Magistrates Court heard the police were called to an address in Rossnagalliagh because of an ongoing domestic incident.

As Fox was leaving the house he spat at a police officer and was arrested.

The 23-year-old was taken to hospital for treatment and continued to spit in the police car and at the officers.

When he was in the hospital he continued to shout and swear, telling the officers ‘f*** you, you’re scum’.

Fox also made derogatory comments about an English police officer.

He refused treatment at the hospital and was led back to the police car.

At this stage, Fox kicked out at an officer striking him on the leg.

The court heard the cost of deep cleaning the police car was £197.96.

Body worn camera footage of the incident was available, however this was not played to the court.

District Judge Barney McElholm said ‘I very much approve of the use of body worn camera footage. It is best evidence’.

Defence counsel Stephen Chapman said it was ‘probably just as well’ the footage was not played.

He said his client is aware that his behaviour in hospital and to police is ‘not going to be tolerated by the court’.

Mr Chapman said Fox was highly intoxicated at the time of committing the offences and has sought help for alcohol misuse.

However, he accepted the court might treat this with some scepticism as Fox sought help after pleading guilty to the offences.

Jailing Fox, District Judge McElholm said the defendant has a ‘hefty sum outstanding in terms of fines. That shows he has little regard for orders of the court’.

He said this was an ‘absolutely disgraceful incident. His behaviour towards police who were simply trying to help him was completely unforgivable’.

The judge added the court is ‘not going to out up with’ behaviour like this in the hospital or towards police.