Drunk thug attacked police officers

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A THUG headbutted, kicked and spat at police officers as he lashed out in a late-night attack.

Clinton Barnes was standing outside his home in Carlisle Crescent, Penshaw, at 11pm on December 17 last year, Sunderland magistrates heard.

Police had been called to investigate an alleged assault at the address and officers were talking to two women inside.

Barnes, 30, became agitated when he was prevented from going inside and Pc Stuart Smithson grabbed hold of his arm.

Wrestling away from his grasp, drunk Barnes shouted expletives at the officer, who told him to calm down.

This prompted an enraged Barnes to headbutt Pc Smithson, prosecutor Ian Simpson said.

The blow caught the officer on his jaw, leaving him in pain and with a stiff neck.

In the melee, Pc Stuart Dobson, who had come to his colleague’s aid, was spat in the face and kicked on the thigh by Barnes.

As back-up arrived and the defendant was carried into a police van, Barnes shouted “Ha ha, you muppets, I’ll bite you next time.”

Barnes later denied two counts of assaulting a police officer but failed to turn up on the day of trial and was found guilty in his absence.

Chris Wilson, mitigating, said: “Mr Barnes also sustained a significant injury to his head during this incident.

“Unfortunately Mr Barnes missed his trial date as he was in attendance at his GP’s for a fracture to his heel, but he has not sought to argue the findings of the court, that he was guilty of the offence.

“There is some history between Mr Barnes’s family and the police. The police can be, on occasion, heavy-handed when dealing with him, that’s not to excuse Mr Barnes’s conduct on this occasion.”

Sentencing Barnes to 12 months’ supervision, chairman of the bench Mrs Malik told him: “I think you now realise what a nasty episode that was, to assault two officers. The worst thing that you did was to spit. Human spit is worse than a dog bite, and this is what you did.’’

Barnes was also told to pay £75 in compensation to Pc Smithson, and £100 to Pc Dobson, as well as a £60 surcharge and £85 costs.