Police officer racially abused while carrying out welfare check on Seaham man

A dad with acute mental health issues racially abused a police officer who called to check on his welfare – then assaulted him at a police station.

Michael Stainbank, 32, shouted obscenities at the Pc when he arrived at his home in Warkworth Crescent, Seaham, a court heard.

The 32-year-old then assaulted the officer by pushing him, causing no injury.

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He pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker by beating and racially aggravated disorder when he appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Deputy District Judge Jane Hamilton adjourned the case for reports and Stainbank will be sentenced at the same court on Tuesday, March 9.

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Prosecutor Michael Rose said: “A friend of Mr Stainbank’s rang the police to say that she was worried about his mental health.

“Officers went to his address, and one of the officers is of Asian origin and he was abused by the defendant. Certainly, it was racial language.

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“At the police station he pushed the officer. He said that he had had a lot of whisky to drink. There are some previous convictions.”

Tom Morgan, defending, said: “The position is that, certainly in recent months and during last year, the defendant experienced a significant decline in his mental health. He can’t explain what the catalyst for this is.

“As solicitors we often stand before the court and give an explanation about how someone is feeling very unwell with their mental health.

“He says his life has gone from being happy to being chronically depressed. The reason is completely blank.

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“He is engaging with a doctor and he is trying different medications. There have been occasions where he has considered taking serious action about this.

“He reports that he’s drinking to excess. He was on his way to a garage to buy more alcohol.”

Mr Morgan added: “He does not hold the views that he has said. He is extremely remorseful and sorry to the officer.

“It has happened, and he has to deal with the consequences.”

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The court heard Stainbank was awaiting additional mental health support from Sunderland’s Wear Recovery service.

He was granted unconditional bail.

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