A man has been handed a community order and ordered to pay compensation after assaulting an off-duty police officer during an incident in Notts before he was arrested.
Lee Spencer, of Brand Lane, Sutton-in-Ashfield, was sentenced at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (12 April 2018) having previously pleaded guilty to the charges of assaulting a police officer in the execution of his duty, possession of a Class A drug, driving without insurance, driving otherwise in accordance with a licence and failing to provide a specimen of blood for analysis.
The court heard that Spencer, 37, had been involved in a road collision on the A60 Nottingham Road in Mansfield on 9 January 2018. His car was seen to violently swerve into the back of another vehicle which then shunted into another.
Nottinghamshire Police Detective Sergeant Dave Beach was on his way to work at the time of the crash. He saw what happened, noticed that Spencer was intoxicated in some way and removed the keys from his vehicle.
Spencer refused to co-operate with DS Beach, became abusive and spat at him.
The court heard that while Spencer was in custody he was found to be in possession of a wrap of a suspected Class A drug. It turned out to be cocaine. Tests later showed that Spencer had cocaine in his system.
Spencer was given a one-year community order, ordered to pay £100 compensation and a £85 victim surcharge. He was banned from driving for 18 months, his driving licence was endorsed and the court ordered for the forfeiture and destruction of the cocaine.
Speaking after Spencer’s sentencing Detective Inspector Gayle Hart said: “Police officers are regularly called upon to deal with highly charged and sometimes dangerous situations during the course of their duties.
“On occasions this can lead to a member of the public taking out their aggression on an officer, which is totally unacceptable.
“One assault on a Police Officer, PCSO, Special Constable or member of Police Staff is one too many.
“Police officers are employed to uphold the law and should without a doubt have the right to go about their job without being attacked, insulted or physically hurt.
“Any assault on our officers and staff has a huge knock-on effect not just for the communities we serve, but also to our officers and staff and the people closest to them who live with the physical and mental impact of being a victim of these offences.”
DI Hart added: “It’s examples like this that show a Nottinghamshire Police officer is never off-duty.
“DS Beach’s actions exemplify our officers’ commitment and dedication to duty and I commend him for going above and beyond the call of duty.”
Nottinghamshire Police Federation chairman Dave Keen said: “This demonstrates how police officers in Nottinghamshire are never off duty when the public need them.
“In the true tradition of British policing an offender was detained and brought to justice in spite of difficult challenging circumstances.
“To be subjected to such a vile act in the process is nothing short of disgraceful and in our view should have attracted an immediate custodial sentence.
“Any assault on a police officer is unacceptable, this particular example is nothing short of disgusting.”