Drunken man took police officer's baton and tried to bite paramedic during violence in Sunderland street

A police officer and a paramedic were attacked after trying to help a man who was found unconscious in the street.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 5:08 pm

Emergency services had been called after Martin Pace was seen lying face down at Summerhill in Sunderland on April 21.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the drunken 35-year-old tried to walk away after he regained consciousness and refused the support being offered to him.

But a police constable who arrived at the scene, who knew Pace had been reported missing by the mental health crisis team, tried to convince him to stay and be helped.

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Martin Pace.
Martin Pace.

Prosecutor Kate Barnes told the court Pace lashed out violently and called the officer a "piggy *******" before they both ended up on the ground.

Pace forced the officer's head down onto the ground, even after the cop had repeatedly told him "I'm trying to help you".

Body worn footage which captured the violence showed at one point Pace managed to arm himself with the officer's baton and was trying to bite one of the female paramedics who stepped in to assist.

Pace, who was arrested for being drunk and disorderly during the struggle, was pepper sprayed twice before he could be subdued.

The officer, who suffered a leg injury and soreness in the struggle, said in a victim statement after the attacks: "I was genuinely fearful for my safety, safety of the paramedics and the public. "

Pace, of no fixed address, admitted two charges of assault on an emergency worker.

The court heard he was on a community order for an earlier assault, which involved spitting at an emergency worker, at the time.

Mr recorder Simon Eckersley sentenced him to a total of eight months behind bars.

The judge said: "This is a very bad case of assaulting emergency workers."

Shada Mellor, defending, told the court: "He doesn't recall any of the incident but takes full responsibility for his actions."

Miss Mellor said Pace is alcohol dependent and has mental health problems.

She added: "The officer tried to help. He doesn't appear to have wanted that help and reacted, unfortunately, in a violent way."

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