'Horrendous' - Cocaine-fuelled South Tyneside 'shot blaster' spat at police in cigarette row

South Shields Magistrates Court.South Shields Magistrates Court.
South Shields Magistrates Court.
The incident happened outside of the criminal’s Hebburn property.

A cocaine-taking South Tyneside shot blaster using alcohol to excess hit his target when he spat at a policeman when told he could not have a cigarette.

Harry Brewis, 20, of Innesmoor, Hebburn, was in handcuffs when he struck the officer on his cheek in an attack described as “horrendous” by borough magistrates.

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He returned for round two by filling his mouth with more spittle but was prevented from firing when lawmen applied a spit hood.

Brewis apologised in hospital while being checked out following a struggle as he was being restrained inside a property in Usher Road, Hebburn, on Thursday, December 28.

And he is counting the cost of his out-of-character crime – his first criminal offence – after being ordered to pay the PC £433 compensation and being fined over £1,000.

Prosecutor Liz McGowan said police were called at about 10.20pm to seek out another man involved in an unrelated incident.

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Reading from the officer’s statement, she said two policemen were present when Brewis’ victim and a third colleague arrived – and were let in without trouble.

But a commotion ensued in which Brewis was placed in handcuffs in the living room and escorted outside.

At the rear of a police van, he requested a cigarette but was denied – and “turned and deliberately spat”.

A gust of wind did not prevent some of his spittle striking his target – the officer’s cheek, Mrs McGowen said.

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She added: “He was getting further spittle in his mouth when the officer shouted for colleagues to apply a spit hood.

“When questioned, he said he had been in a bit of a state and had lost the plot. He apologised.”

Brewis pleaded guilty to a charge of assault by beating of an emergency worker.

David Forrester, defending, said: “He has no convictions or cautions. He believes he was under the influence of something.

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“That’s right because he was taken to hospital because he was suffering from dizziness.

“He is a shot blaster and earns a substantial amount. He had been taking cocaine and drinking too much.

“He now says he doesn’t do drugs or drink to excess. This has been something of a wake-up call. He apologised to the officer.”

Brewis was fined £1,083 and must pay £85 court costs.