Man who spat at Norfolk police officer given suspended prison sentence
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016
A man who spat at a police officer's face and hair after being arrested has been spared jail.
Kurt Bergin, 25, hit the officer in the face and hair when he spat at her at Wymondham Police Investigation Centre (PIC) after being arrested in connection with an allegation of criminal damage.
Bergin, of the travellers site on Swanton Road in Norwich, appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court to be sentenced on Tuesday - the same day a new law with tougher sentences for those who assault emergency service workers came into force.
Those who are found guilty of assaulting police officers, ambulance workers, firefighters or prison officers, could now face sentences of up to 12 months imprisonment.
However, the assault committed by Bergin happened in April this year, months before the new laws came into effect.
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Victoria Bastock, prosecuting, said on April 8 this year, officers received a report that a fight was ongoing between a man and two women and some vehicles had been damaged.
Police were called and Bergin was arrested in Fifers Lane in connection with the incident.
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After being arrested and while on the way to Wymondham PIC, Miss Bastock said Bergin told officers he would 'kick off when I get to custody'.
On arrival he was put in a hold area where he spat at police, including a female officer who was hit in the face and hair.
Miss Bastock said the defendant was arrested for assaulting an officer following the incident which was caught on CCTV.
Bergin appeared in court for sentence on Tuesday (November 13) after the matter was proved in his absence.
Sentencing Bergin to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for six months, chair of the bench Graham Gerrish, said the court 'doesn't like to tolerate these type of offences'.
The suspended sentence will run concurrently to a 24-month suspended sentence order imposed by Norwich Crown Court imposed for an offence of failing to provide a specimen of breath.
Richard Mann, mitigating, he was 'irritated' at being arrested as he 'hadn't done anything' and so spat at the officer.
Mr Mann said he 'apologises through me for that'.