Drink and drug-fuelled homeless man attacks two South Shields police officers

South Tyneside man jailed after attacking police officers after downing vodka and cocktail of unknown tablets and powders.

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A high-risk South Tyneside man jailed for making threats to kill was sent back to prison after attacking two police officers, a court was told.

John Joyce, 42, spent six more weeks behind bars after he was arrested for placing a hand on a female officer’s collarbone when she offered him assistance in South Shields.

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During the same incident on Tuesday, May 23, homeless Joyce charged at her male colleague after becoming agitated and angry but was restrained after a struggle.

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

He had downed a litre of vodka and taken a cocktail of unknown powders and tablets, causing him to “explode” when approached.

The offender later failed to engage with the Probation Service in compiling a pre-sentence report into his offences to aid a court.

His refusal stemmed from his dislike of authority figures and because he blamed Probation for losing him his accommodation when he was returned to prison, it was said.

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Joyce, who has 16 previous convictions, has been handed a 12-month community order, with up to 30 rehabilitation days, and ordered to pay each officer £50 compensation.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Winchester told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court: “It’s said that the defendant became agitated and aggressive.

“He lunged towards one officer and placed his hand on her collarbone and caused a graze to the left hand.

“He has charged towards the other officer a number of times. It took some time to restrain him due to his aggressive behaviour.”

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Joyce pleaded guilty to charges of common assault of an emergency worker and assault by beating of an emergency worker.

He was jailed for four years in 2019 for causing actual bodily harm and making threats to kill.

In court, the Probation Service described him as being “high risk” to the community but also vulnerable.

Duncan Emmerson, defending, said: “I echo that he has very complex emotional needs. He has been seeking assistance from various homeless charities.

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“He has been punished twice for this. He has already served about six weeks in jail as a result because he was recalled.

“He was drunk, he was trying to mind his own business and all he wanted to do was go home.

“Unfortunately, when he’s been approached, a little towards his face, he’s pushed away an officer and lunged at the other.”