Drink-driver got 'smashed' after training course and spat in custody officer's face

A drink-driver who got "smashed" after a training course then spat in a custody officer's face when he was taken to the police station has been put behind bars.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 5:05 pm
Jack Towle.
Jack Towle.

Jack Towle had been in Sunderland being trained for his employment last month and had a "couple of pints" before he got behind the wheel of a Vauxhall Astra, while banned from driving and with no insurance.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 30-year-old failed a breath test when he was pulled over in Burn Park Road and "smelled of intoxicating liquor, had glazed eyes and was unsteady on his feet".

When taken to a police station in South Shields, Towle refused to provide a further breath specimen and told the officer who was to carry out the procedure to "**** off".

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Prosecutor Laura Jane Miller said Towle was placed in a cell at the station and the door hatch was left open.

She added: "The defendant spat through the hatch and his spittle landed on the detention officer's face and T-shirt.

"This offence took place during the course of the current pandemic, with spittle landing on the detention officer's face."

When interviewed later, Towle said he could not remember arriving at the police station but could remember drinking at his hotel.

Miss Miller added: "He stated he had never had a full driving licence or taken a driving test."

Towle, of Blythe Court, Barton on Humber, Lincolnshire, who has convictions for 52 previous offences and was on a suspended sentence and two conditional discharges at the time, said the spit attack was "disgusting" and said he did not normally behave like that.

He pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and with no insurance, failure to provide a specimen, assault on an emergency worker, breach of a suspended sentence and breach of conditional discharges.

Mr Recorder James Wood QC sentenced him to 12 months behind bars with a five year road ban.

The judge said: "He went out and got completely smashed and drove a car, while disqualified, while uninsured."

The judge added it gave him "no pleasure" to impose the jail term.

Jennifer Coxon, defending, said Towle accepted he had a "casual" attitude towards driving.

Miss Coxon said Towle's employment would still have been available to him if he was allowed to remain in the community.