Drunk who jumped up from stretcher and swore at police and paramedics outside pub told by court: 'Hang your head in shame'

A drunk who turned on paramedics and police should be “utterly ashamed” of his actions, magistrates said.

By Gareth Crickmer
Sunday, 12th June 2022, 4:55 am

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Robert Leigh, 47, “kicked off” with medics outside The Folds pub in Chilton Moor, near Houghton, at 12.25pm on Saturday, April 9.

When police arrived at their request, Leigh, of Chilton Gardens, also Chilton Moor, jumped up from his stretcher and swore.

Magistrates in South Tyneside heard he had become addicted to solvents from the age of 12 and later heroin – and finally alcohol.

South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

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They praised him for weaning himself off the drug and taking steps to tackle his drink problem but condemned his behaviour towards the emergency services.

John Lee, chair of the bench, told him he had “kicked off, adding: “You should hang your head in shame.

“There’s no excuse in the world for abusing ambulance people in that way.”

But of Leigh’s battle with booze, Mr Lee said: “Keep up the good work. Try to turn your life around.”

Prosecutor Paul Anderson revealed: “Police are called by the North East Ambulance Service for assistance.

“It’s 12.25pm, and they find the defendant in a drunken state and being abusive and swearing, despite being warned not to be so.

“Because of his condition, he was helped onto a stretcher. He jumped up and swore and said, ‘Get off me now’.”

Leigh was also caught stealing £40 of coffee from B&M Bargains’ store in Newbottle Street, Houghton-le-Spring, on Thursday, May 19.

Magistrates were told he entered the outlet despite being barred and was caught by staff after leaving without paying.

He pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly and theft from a shop.

Tom Morgan, defending, said: “He’s a man who has had, effectively, a life of entrenched addictions.

“I’m instructed this started as a 12-year-old with solvent abuse and then into harder drugs.

“Inexplicably, it has moved into alcohol. There was also heroin misuse.

“At the peak of alcohol, it was three bottles of vodka a day. He’s been in rehab in Seaham for two weeks.”

For both offences, Leigh was sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge. He must pay £85 court costs and a £22 victim surcharge.