Sunderland man jailed for spitting at a police officer in 'disgusting' offence during pandemic

Sunderland man jailed after spitting at a police officer in an offence described as ‘disgusting’ by a judge.

Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 7:00 am

The offence happened after confused Bernard Conlin, 58, returned to his childhood family home in the city he had not been to in over four decades on Friday, November 20.

But vile Conlin, of Darwin Street, Southwick, Sunderland, spat in the face of a policeman who had taken him to hospital after he had ‘taken tablets to try to kill himself’.

And his offending did not end there - he also defecated in a police van and in two cells at a police station.

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Bernard Conlin

Conlin has now been jailed for 16 weeks for an assault described as “disgusting” by a judge and by his own solicitor as “abhorrent”.

Deputy District Judge Alex Boyd told him: “Key workers have very difficult jobs, made significantly harder by current circumstances.

“The officer in this case was spat at. It’s disgusting for someone to spit at another person in any circumstances.

“Someone can expect to go to prison for spitting at police, particularly in this pandemic where we know that Covid is spread from molecules passing from one person to another.

“Police officers have to know that they can be protected from this kind of behaviour.”

Prosecutor Lesley Burgess told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court: “Police had tried to take the defendant home, and they have then taken him to hospital.

“That’s when he became aggressive and has spat in the face of the officer. He then defecated in the van and in two police cells.”

Greg Flaxen, defending, said: “He’s taken tablets to try to kill himself. He was found at a property that he hasn’t lived in since the 1970s.

“He was trying to gain access to what was his family home. He’s taken tablets in an attempted suicide. He knows it was abhorrent.”

Conlin was jailed after pleading guilty to common assault of an emergency worker.

He also admitted two charges of criminal damage for which he was handed two four-week terms, to run concurrently.

On his release, he will be subject to 12 months of post-sentence supervision, and he must pay the officer £200 compensation.

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