A MAN spat in a police officer’s face before biting another’s thumb after being arrested for stealing a ladder.
Stephen Paul Sanderson had been arrested by the Town Hall in Chester city centre on November 17 last year after attempting to make off with a set of ladders belonging to workmen constructing the annual Christmas market on Northgate Street.
West Cheshire Magistrates Court heard that Sanderson, 33, had been spotted by one of the workmen trying to steal the ladders from the construction site. The workman and a member of the public apprehended Sanderson before calling the police.
Sanderson, who had been calm when officers arrested him, became angry after being taken to the Town Hall police station.
He spat in the eye of one officer before biting the thumb of another who was attempting to adjust his handcuffs.
Marie Haydon, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was seen by workmen taking the ladder and when asked where he was going, he said he was just borrowing them and would be returning them.
“The defendant became angry at police officers when they said that they wanted to ‘call in’ the incident, at which point he became aggressive, leading to the events where he spat at PC Ben Passmore and bit the thumb of PC Keith Campbell while they were attempting to carry out their duties.”
Giving evidence, PC Campbell said: “He (Sanderson) was fairly amiable when we first arrived on the scene and there didn’t appear to be much of a problem.
“It was once we went to call in the incident that he became aggressive.”
The officer added: “There was no injury from the bite and we then transported Sanderson, who continued to be aggressive, to a cell where we placed him in safety clothes until he sobered up.”
Sanderson, of Somerville Crescent, Ellesmere Port, who faced one charge of theft and two of assaulting a police constable, failed to appear for the proceedings before District Judge Nicholas Sanders and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Jailing him for six months, District Judge Sanders said: “Assaulting a police officer in the line of their duty is a serious offence and I have no choice but to proceed to a custodial sentence in the defendant’s absence.
“It was a serious matter and, although no injury was caused to the officer, it is thankful that the defendant let go of the thumb before causing some real damage.”