Sunderland drunk abused police officer at Nightingale hospital vaccination centre
A drunk who fired vile homophobic abuse at a police officer inside the Nightingale Covid vaccination centre in Washington has avoided being jailed.
Magistrates told foul-mouthed Stuart Patterson, 31, his crime had fallen “just short” of putting him behind bars.
He was already restrained by security guards when police were summoned to the Nightingale hospital site.
Patterson, of Goschen Street, Southwick, Sunderland, shouted homophobic insults at the officer.
He also threatened to spit at her on Wednesday, June 9.
In a victim statement read to the court, the officer described his abuse, soon after her mum’s death, as “degrading” and “abhorrent”.
Prosecutor Ben Woodward said: “He was drunk and acting in an abusive manner.
“He made threats to spit which led to him being detained by security guards.
“Police were called. He made remarks towards a female police officer in which he threatened to spit.
“He said, ‘Get away from me, b****’, and he began to resist arrest. He again threatened to spit.
“He swore and threatened to spit on other officers. The abuse continued during transportation into custody.”
Patterson has 16 previous convictions from 27 offences, with his last conviction being in April for cannabis possession.
He pleaded guilty to causing harassment, alarm or distress.
Paul McAlindon, defending, said: “He’s a man who recognises the difficulties in his life.
“It is very clear that there is a genuine sense of remorse. He is regretful about how he made the officer feel.
“He had fallen off the wagon. He has a troubled past and long issues with alcohol.”
Robert McDonald, chair of the bench, warned Patterson he had come close to being jailed.
He said: “We believe that this falls just short – just short – of a custodial sentence.
“We do believe that what you said to the officer was disgusting and abhorrent, but you have, in our view, expressed genuine remorse.”
Patterson was handed an 18-month community order, with 35 rehabilitation days and a six-month alcohol treatment programme.
He must also abide by a four-month, 7pm to 7am curfew and pay the officer £50 compensation, with a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.