Homeless man pleaded to be locked up after refusing to leave King Street in South Shields

A homeless man asked magistrates in South Tyneside to jail him when he appeared before them to admit to swearing at police and spitting in their car.
Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Anthony Spurgatis, 37, of no fixed abode, pleaded, “Lock me up so I’ve got somewhere to go”, before telling them: “You may as well send me to prison.”

A court heard he refused to move from King Street, South Shields, when ordered by officers – then spat in their car when arrested, a court heard.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Spurgatis was first requested to move by a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), who spotted him sitting next to a smashed wine bottle at 3pm on Friday, July 17.

King Street, South Shields. Picture by FRANK REIDKing Street, South Shields. Picture by FRANK REID
King Street, South Shields. Picture by FRANK REID

He threw a legal Notice to Leave to the ground and within earshot of shoppers swore at the police called to the scene.

Saliva was then spotted on a police vehicle seat by officers who had tried to force him inside, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.

Although it may have been an unintentional leakage of saliva rather deliberate, it left police chiefs with a £100 clean-up bill.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Prosecutor Alan Davison said: “You’ll see from his record that Mr Spurgatis has not been in trouble for nine years.

“Mr Spurgatis appeared to be drunk and swore and refused to leave the area.

“When police officers went to put him in their car, there was saliva on the upholstery, and they realised he had spat.

“He swore at police, in earshot of people passing. He was interviewed and seemed drunk.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Amy Hossack, defending, said: “He had a partner and a house but in July last year, everything went drastically south.

“Mr Spurgatis says that he was sitting on the pavement, minding his own business.

“He admits that he threw the notice to the ground but says he was treated roughly by police.

“He doesn’t admit that spitting or salivating was done recklessly, he accepts that he was slavering.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Spurgatis pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage, failing to comply with a section 35 direction and causing harassment, alarm or distress.

He was given a six-month conditional discharge and must pay Northumbria Police £50 compensation.

There were no court costs or victim surcharge.

Read More
Read more: Drink-driver sentenced after being spotted 'swaying' at the tills by ...

A message from the Editor:

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to the Shields Gazette website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit here to sign up. You can subscribe to the newspaper with 20% off here. Thank you.