Officer Andrew Swift had helped to bring him to hospital

A former scaffolder on a suspended sentence was handed a 12 month community order after spitting in the face of a police officer on Christmas eve.

Kyle Cox, 23, had been working as a scaffolder during the run-up to Christmas, though he was unemployed when police arrested him. He was then taken to Chesterfield Royal Hospital by officers after he had a “paranoid moment”.

Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court heard that Cox was highly intoxicated and kept “thrashing around” in the back of the police van.

He dug his hole even deeper after he arrived and started “swearing and shouting” at people around him.

“The officers took him to a quieter area away from the other people,” said John Cooper, prosecuting.

“One of the officers said he was fearful for his safety and for that of his colleagues and the public because the defendant was so agitated.

“He said to the officer ‘when I next see you in the street I am going to knock you out’ before swearing again.

“The officer pushed him back and he landed on the floor.”

It was only then that the officers thought to handcuff the guy.

Cooper continued: “More units were requested and at that point the defendant spat in the face of the officer who said it landed on his nose and eyebrow.

“At that point he was arrested for assaulting a police officer and had to be put in leg restraints because of his intoxicated state.”

PC Andrew Swift, Cox’s unfortunate target, stated: “I should not have to put up with this when I am at work and neither should anyone else.”

In addition to his community order, Cox had six months added to a suspended sentence received for assault and criminal damage. He was also ordered to pay £100 in compensation.

Defender Kelly Shooter claimed Cox was “extremely remorseful about his actions”, despite the fact that he originally tried to claim that the police had beaten him up.

“Although he is not actively diagnosed with anything at the moment he does have mental health problems,” Cooper added.

“He knows he behaved in an extremely bad manner.”

Magistrates told Cox: “We realise you have mental health problems but it is your choice to drink and your choice to take drugs.”

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