Image released of drunk Mansfield man who spat in police officer's face

Martin Neill.
Martin Neill.

A drunk man was jailed for spitting onto a female officer's face as he tried to hang onto his rosary beads at Mansfield police station.

The spittle went onto her eyes and mouth, leaving her to have injections as a precaution, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

Mansfield Police Station.

Mansfield Police Station.

An eight-month prison term was ordered for Martin Neill, 43, of Slant Lane, Mansfield Woodhouse. He pleaded guilty to the common assault of an emergency worker on August 21.

He already had 118 offences on his criminal record, including police assaults, the court heard.

Judge James Sampson said that he would have jailed him for more than a year but the sentence is limited by law. It is also reduced when a defendant pleads guilty promptly.

The judge told Neill: "You spat in her face. That is a particularly vicious form of assault.

"As a consequence, she had to be tested for hepatitis and received a tetanus injection, no doubt distressed at the prospect of being infected. This was disgusting.

"No emergency worker doing no more than their public duty should be subject to any form of assault.

"You have an appalling record of anti-social behaviour spanning many years. It must have cost taxpayers a massive amount of wasted money."

Amy Earnshaw, prosecuting, said that police officers were called to High Street, Mansfield Woodhouse just before 8pm. A man was seen "kicking doors and walking out into the road."

He was not committing any offence but threw a can at a police car as it pulled off. Neill was arrested for being drunk and disorderly.

He was taken to the police station but refused to hand over rosary beads when ordered by officers, said Miss Earnshaw.

"At this, he spat directly at the constable. The spittle landed on her eyes and mouth," she told the court.

Gregor Purcell, mitigating, said the assault followed efforts to remove the rosary beads.

"He can't explain why he resisted in that way. He has no proper justification for it.

"He was being forcibly restrained and was given a number of knee strikes," said Mr Purcell. Neill is still in pain from the incident.

Mr Purcell added: "He did the right thing by pleading guilty at the first opportunity. He doesn't have hepatitis."

Piece written by Rod Malcolm.