Ex-serviceman showed 'complete lack of respect' for law after assaulting police officer, court told

An ex-serviceman who tried to attack a policeman by throwing punches at him showed ‘a complete lack of respect’ for the law, a court heard.

Police turned up at Brett McGill's house to follow up enquiries about a separate driving matter when they encountered his "hostile" partner.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that the defendant then became involved in the confrontation, which saw him try and punch the officer in November 2019.

McGill, who was discharged from the army five years ago for medical reasons, was wanted by officers so they could carry out enquires following a car crash.

Brett McGill.

Mr Recorder Mark McKone said that McGill was believed to have been the passenger in the vehicle and police wanted to question him about what happened.

He told him: "It was inevitable the police would come to your home to investigate this.

"When they came to your home they were doing their job. Your partner was hostile to the police and grabbed the police constable.

"She's fortunate not to be charged as well.

"You grabbed the police constable by the neck, causing him and you to fall out of the door.

"It's very dangerous to grab someone by the neck. Then you attempted to punch the police constable.

"Having been in the armed forces you will know that you showed a complete lack of respect for the police and the law."

The court heard that the officer escaped injury during the incident, but the judge told McGill that his actions would have caused some distress.

The 38-year-old, of Railway Terrace, New Herrington, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker.

Kate Barnes, defending, said: "He is an ex-serviceman and left the army in 2017.

"It had been his hopes to return to some sort of service but following his conviction it's unlikely to allow him to do that.

"There has been no repetition of anything of this type and he is committed to his family. He's looking to get back into employment.”

McGill was sentenced to five months imprisonment, suspended for two years.

The judge added that because he had stayed out of trouble for the near three years that had passed, he was satisfied he could suspend the sentence.

McGill must also complete 150 hours of community service and ten days of rehabilitation activities.