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'Drunken oaf': pub chef elbows and spits in beard of police

PUBLISHED: 16:22 17 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:22 17 December 2019

Benjamin McLean elbowed and spat in the face of police after a family bust-up                     Picture: STAFF

Benjamin McLean elbowed and spat in the face of police after a family bust-up Picture: STAFF

Archant

A pub chef elbowed a police officer in the face and spat at another one during a New Year's Day bust-up with his parents.

Benjamin McLean, 23, had been out drinking with his dad on New Year's Eve last year but police were called by the defendant's mother following an argument between McLean and his father.

Norwich Crown Court heard there was "blood everywhere" when police arrived at 4.05am on New Year's Day this year.

Charles Kellett, prosecuting, said the defendant was outside shirtless with his mother while there was broken crockery and blood in the house he lives with his parents at Main Street, Welney, near Wisbech.

Mr Kellett said the defendant's father had cuts to his face while the mother had a bump on her head.

Paramedics as well as police arrived but McLean, who was 22 at the time, was being aggressive, warning officers he would give them "a reason to arrest him".

McLean was told to calm down by officers but he refused to and was arrested.

Mr Kellett said that during the struggle McLean elbowed one of the officers in the face and spat at another officer, leaving him with blood and spittle in his beard.

He said that McLean continued to make "lurid threats" before being taken away.

The court heard the defendant largely chose not to comment when interviewed by police.

Although he initially denied the offences he later pleaded guilty to affray and appeared in court on Tuesday (December 17) for sentence.

Judge Stephen Holt described McLean as a "drunken oaf" and said he had behaved in a "disgusting manner".

He said police officers should "never be treated in this way by members of the public they are there to protect".

McLean was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months.

He was also ordered to carry out 225 hours unpaid work and pay the officers £500 each in compensation.

Michael Clare, mitigating, said the offence was "out of character" for the defendant, a pub chef, who expressed his remorse.

He said McLean had been on medication for depression and the alcohol he had consumed with his medication had "affected him".

Mr Clare said: "He behaved in a way he can barely recognise himself".

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