Judge says spitting at police officers is 'far too prevalent'

Judge says spitting at police officers is 'far too prevalent'

A JUDGE said spitting on police officers is becoming "far too prevalent".

District Judge Nigel Broderick was speaking at Ballymena Magistrates' Court (main picture) in connection with James Luke Hamilton (27), of Glenbush Drive in Portrush, who is charged with assaulting two police officers; resisting one of the officers in the execution of his duty and being disorderly at Glenbush Drive on May 4 this year.

The defendant appeared at court via a video link from Coleraine.

A police officer said police attended a report of a "verbal-only domestic incident" and entered through an open front door at Glenbush Drive.

A female was in a distressed state and Hamilton was found hiding in a "cloakroom" and appeared intoxicated.

He became aggressive and was restrained on the ground.

An officer was kicked twice with no injury and was spat on in his eye and another officer was spat on the cheek.

The defendant was in breach of bail in relation to previous charges.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said the defendant had 43 previous convictions and refused bail.

He said the May 4 incident had been "nasty" as the defendant allegedly spat in two police officers' faces.

Judge Broderick said: "These offences are far too prevalent. This defendant and others, sadly, seem to think that it is appropriate, regardless of their state of intoxication or whatever, to fight and spit at police.

"They are public servants performing important duties. They need and deserve the protection of the courts and when they encounter these defendants and they are assaulted and spat on then the court regard that as an aggravating feature".

The case was adjourned to Coleraine Magistrates Court sitting in Ballymena on May 9.