A POLICE officer went through “living hell” after she was jabbed by a needle filled with a drug user’s blood.
The constable spent six months worrying she had been infected with diseases such as HIV or hepatitis after she was stabbed by a syringe hidden in the waistband of Michael Gallagher’s trousers.
During months of torment, the married mum had to undergo testing and feared she could have something contagious until she was finally given the all-clear.
At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday Gallagher, 24, of Park Road, Hendon, was put behind bars.
Mr Recorder Andrew Kershaw told him: “It only took a word from you to have saved this officer six months of living hell.
“It is difficult to imagine a more traumatic ordeal for a police officer.”
Gallagher was sentenced to a total of five years and two months after pleading guilty to assaulting a police officer and having an article with a blade or point in relation to the officer.
He also admitted causing grievous bodily harm and common assault on two Polish strangers who refused to pay £10 for sex with his girlfriend.
He kicked the head of one of his victims like a “penalty kick at a football match”.
The court heard the police officer had approached Gallagher in public toilets in Sunderland last October, where he was preparing to inject himself with drugs.
Because of his suspicious behaviour, the constable warned Gallagher he was about to be searched and repeatedly asked if he had anything of interest but he failed to tell her he had a syringe filled with his own blood.
The judge told him: “You allowed an officer to puncture her thumb while she was searching you. I have tried to think what was in your mind when you committed this offence. It is difficult to form a judgement because you did not respond to questioning by the police.
“I don’t want to think the worst of you but on the other hand, the worst thing happened and you did nothing to prevent it. You could easily have prevented it.”
The court heard the officer worried about passing on any illness or disease she may have caught to her husband and children.
In May this year, Gallagher launched the savage kicking attack on a Polish national who had refused to pay £10 for sex with his then girlfriend.
The judge said: “You were offering your girlfriend for sex for as little as £10. I have little doubt the idea was to do anything in order to get drugs.
“When your offer was declined, in frustration and anger, you headbutted one victim.
“You then headbutted your second victim and that sent him to the ground.
“He hit his head on the ground and may have hit his face on a wall.
“There was then a kick to his head that resembled a penalty kick at a football match, in other words, you kicked him as hard as you could and left him unconscious.”