‘Cowardly drunk’ spared jail after attacking Sunderland policeman

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A “COWARDLY drunk” who assaulted a police officer after rowing with his girlfriend has been spared jail.

David Baker, 47, became aggressive after an alcohol-fuelled night at the home of Elizabeth Wood in December last year.

By being at her house, he was already in breach of a restraining order imposed on him to stop him contacting Miss Wood after he was convicted of battery on June 19 last year and given a six- month jail sentence by Sunderland magistrates.

The court heard during that offence, he had got Miss Wood in a headlock and hit her.

At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday prosecutor Tony Hawks told how Baker and Miss Wood had rekindled their relationship after he was released from prison in October 2010 for the battery charge.

On December 13 last year, police were called to the house where Baker was spotted damaging a vehicle.

Mr Hawks said: “Whilst he was doing that, police constable Scott had arrived and arrested him. He didn’t come quietly.”

Baker, of The Royalty, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching a restraining order, one count of criminal damage and one count of assaulting a police officer.

Judge James Goff said: “The defendant has committed persistent cowardly and drunken behaviour.

“Miss Wood is the victim. It is not her fault, it is the fault of the people like the man you represent.

“I am going to give him another chance.”

Judge Goff told Baker: “You have a history of offences of violence.

“There is going to come a time if you persist in this type of behaviour that you will receive a substantial sentence.

“I do take into account that you haven’t assaulted your partner in this case.

“But you have caused distress.

“If you get drunk and misbehave as you have done in the past you will only have yourself to blame, and you will have to face the consequences and you know what these consequences are.”

Alec Burns, defending Baker, said: “He understands it is possible that they will not live together again from today.

“He accepts that if that is not what she wants, he will accept that.”

Baker was given a 24-month community order.