A man who robbed a pizza delivery driver and later spat at a police officer has been jailed for 21 months.
Ryan Francis, 36, of Forest Road West, Nottingham, pleaded guilty to robbery, assault of an emergency worker and possession of cannabis and was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court today (24 June).
Officers were flagged down by a takeaway delivery driver on St Ann’s Wells Road in Nottingham on Monday 4 May. The driver said that he had been assaulted and a bag of takeaway food he was delivering had been stolen from him.
The man was punched in the jaw, his shirt was ripped and his mobile phone was broken in the assault, which happened in Plantagenet Street, St Ann’s.
The officers went to the address given by the delivery driver, where they found Francis with the bag and with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in his pocket.
Francis was taken into custody where he spat at a police sergeant. He was also found to be in possession of a small amount of cannabis.
Investigator Emma Lamb of Nottinghamshire Police said: “This was a senseless act of violence over a bag of takeaway food and a tub of ice cream.
“This must have been a terrifying experience for the man involved, who was only trying to do his job – just like the police officer who Francis spat at in the course of his duties.
“I’m glad we were able to put this case before the courts and I hope this shows that violence is unacceptable at any time, but particularly when people are out doing their jobs in difficult circumstances.
“I hope this sentencing provides a degree of closure for the driver, and also serves as a reminder that spitting at emergency workers will always be treated with the utmost seriousness.”
Nottinghamshire Police has investigated 105 incidents of key workers being coughed or spat at between Friday 20 March and Wednesday 27 May.
The earlier spate of incidents investigated by Nottinghamshire Police prompted a county-wide call from key workers from across county to join them in calling out assaults on key workers in the line of their essential work.
The campaign saw doctors, nurses, paramedics, police officers, prison officers, firefighters and other frontline workers come together virtually to record the video plea which has since been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on social media. You can view the video below.