A DRUNKEN man who hurled racist abuse at a doctor and spat in his face as he examined him, has been locked up.
James Burlinson was being held at South Shields Police Station after being arrested for a breach of the peace on May 22 when Doctor Bunty Pasad was asked to check him over.
But the 58-year-old, who was drunk at the time, launched into a verbal slur about the forensic examiner’s skin color and spat at him.
Burlinson has more than 100 previous convictions – and appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates last November after spitting in the face of a police officer who arrested him for stealing a bottle of rum.
In December last year, he asked to be sent to prison for both his birthday and the Christmas period after committing a shop theft – as he wanted to be off the streets because he was homeless at the time.
It was the second time in six months he had been jailed at his own request, after stating last June he would be unable to comply with the probation service after admitting another shop theft.
Burlinson, of Cuthbert Street, Hebburn, had admitted racially abusing the doctor at a previous hearing and was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday. Judge Brian Forster, said: “This was a very unpleasant incident involving a doctor who came to help the defendant.
“He was seriously emotionally abused and was spat upon.
“The defendant has many problems, and the view of the professionals in court was that if he were released he may continue in the same way.
He added: “At 58, you stand to be sentenced for what is a serious offence, a doctor who came to assist you and you racially abused that doctor.
“That type of behaviour cannot be tolerated.
“Whatever your views are, you have to behave in a proper manner when a doctor or other professional is trying to help you.
“It is clear from all of the information I have that you have many problems.
“In a short time you will be released. If you simply return to the drink, you will be choosing to return to prison.”
Alec Burns, defending, told the court: “He expects to be homeless and looking for drink if he is released today, but at least he is frank and honest enough to say that.
“Currently, he doesn’t even have funds for the bus fare to where he might be able to find accommodation.”