Prisoner spat in faces of three police officers at South Shields police station after jumper incident in cell

A prisoner issued threats and spat in the face of three officers when they tried to help him at a police station.

By Karon Kelly
Sunday, 6th June 2021, 1:33 pm

Jamie Slack was being detained at South Shields police station after being arrested in August 2020, and officers noticed he had the arms of a sweatshirt around his neck in his cell.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the officers were concerned the 29-year-old would be harmed and approached to remove the item, as well as other items of clothing.

Prosecutor John Hobley told the court: "The defendant was making threats, targeted principally at one officer, that he would find him outside work, he would burn his house down and wider threats towards him and his family.

Jamie Slack

"The officer described Mr Slack charging towards the officers as they continued to attempt to remove his t-shirt."When his head was released, following being restrained, he spat, hitting all three officers."The court heard one officer was hit in the face and eyes, another "full in the face" and another in the cheek and into his eye.Mr Hobley added: "As the struggle was ongoing, the officers were unable to clean or wipe themselves for a few minutes after."The victims, who are all experienced Northumbria Police officers, said they were left at risk of contracting disease from the spit and branded the attack "inexcusable", "disgusting" and a "disgrace", particularly during a deadly pandemic.Slack, of Mountbatten Avenue, Hebburn, South Tyneside, admitted three charges of assaulting an emergency worker.Vic Laffey, defending, said Slack, who has mental health and substance abuse issues, had the arms of a police-issue sweatshirt tied around his neck while lying on the bed in his cell, which prompted the officers to go in and remove other items from him.

Mr Laffey agreed the attack on the officers was "disgusting" and added: "He does express remorse, even though he doesn't recall a great deal about it."The court heard Slack has abided by a curfew while on bail for the offences.

Mr Recorder Neil Haythorne sentenced Slack to nine weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with rehabilitation requirements.

The judge told him: "On August 21 last year you were arrested and being detained in a police cell."The detention officers were concerned you were self-harming and sought to help you."The judge said the spit was aimed at one officer but hit all three and added: "It was a disgusting incident."

The incident happened at South Shields police station.

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