Drunk ‘devil’ spat in Sunderland paramedic’s face and mouth

Mark Heron, near to Sunderland Magistrates Court.
Mark Heron, near to Sunderland Magistrates Court.
Have your say

A DRUNK with nearly 400 offences on his record spat in a paramedic’s face.

Mark Heron assaulted the emergency worker as he was trying to help him, after the 47-year-old was sprawled out in Sunderland’s Barnes Park on Sunday morning.

Heron continued the assault, showering the back of an ambulance with spit and eventually police were called.

Heron told officers he could not remember the attack and admitted he was a “devil in drink”.

He was remanded in custody and brought before Sunderland Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Heron, who has 232 convictions for 389 offences, pleaded guilty to assault.

Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said: “These are not unusual circumstances for Heron to find himself in the dock for offences which are essentially alcohol-related.

“It was 8.22am in the morning when a call was received to say a man was lying in Barnes Park, drunk.

“A paramedic attended. He has dealt with Mr Heron on a number of previous occasions.

“Mr Heron sees him and feigns a collapse. He is breathing and conscious.

“He helps the defendant to his feet and assists him into the ambulance.

“However, he then becomes aggressive, throwing his arms around and spitting towards him.

“He began to pull away from him, then without warning, he spat directly in the paramedic’s face, hitting him in the face and in his mouth.”

The medic tried to help violent Heron, who spat over the back of the ambulance and threatened to kill him.

In a statement read out to the court, the paramedic of 24 years’ service explained that he felt sorry for Heron.

“I have a strong duty of care in assisting the public.

“I find this incident sickening and distressing.

“It never occurred to me that I would be spat on, although I have sympathy with this individual.”

Heron, of The Mowbray, Sunderland, apologised to police once he was sober enough to be interviewed.

He told officers he had been drinking since 8pm the night before and ended the binge with a bottle of cider, which he bought from a petrol station on Barnes roundabout.

Joanne Gatens, defending, told the bench that Heron needed professional help for his drink problem, but was drinking less.

Magistrates adjourned sentencing to link up with a hearing at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Monday.