Drunk jailed for spitting at woman and police officer

Darren Hodgson was jailed for 52 weeks at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Monday

Darren Hodgson was jailed for 52 weeks at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Monday - Credit: Suffolk police

A drunken man who spat in the face of a police officer after spitting at a woman in McDonald's in Bury St Edmunds has been jailed. 

Darren Hodgson, 53, was seen outside the Poundland store on the Cornhill in Bury St Edmunds on February 22 with his long-time partner, Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard. 

Staff at Poundland knew Hodgson by sight as he was often causing a nuisance outside, and had been previously banned from the shop, Wayne Ablett, prosecuting, told the court. 

Hodgson's long-term partner was also known to staff, Mr Ablett said. 

Around 5.45pm, the shop assistant manager witnessed Hodgson punch his partner in the face with his right hand. 

The assistant manager went outside the shop to see how the woman was, and Hodgson became aggressive, the court heard. 

He put his head against the assistant manager's before swinging two punches at him but not connecting, Mr Ablett said. 

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Another member of staff then called the police and Hodgson picked up his bag and left the scene. 

On February 28, Hodgson walked into McDonald's in Bury and fell into stools in the fast-food restaurant, the court heard. 

Two women were sitting down having just ordered their food and Hodgson shouted, "Boo" loudly into the face of one of the women. 

Members of staff asked Hodgson to leave but he raised his fist before spitting at one of the women as she turned her back. 

Part of the spittle landed on her neck and also on her coat, the court heard. 

The police were called and officers could tell Hodgson was drunk, Mr Ablett said. 

He was abusive towards officers as they arrested him, telling them: "Take the cuffs off, see what happens." 

Hodgson kicked an officer in the leg while on the ground before spitting directly in an officer's face. 

The court heard that Hodgson has 95 previous convictions for 189 offences, and was also subject to a community order at the time of the offences. 

Appearing at Suffolk Magistrates' Court via video link on Monday, Hodgson, of Northgate Street, Bury, pleaded guilty to three counts of assault, two charges of assaulting an emergency worker, being drunk and disorderly and breaching a community order. 

Claire Lockwood, mitigating, said her client's main issue was alcohol and said the alcohol treatment requirement is "exactly what he needs". 

Magistrates handed Hodgson 52 weeks' imprisonment, which included resentencing for the community order. 

He must also pay compensation of £100 each to the woman and police officer who were victims of him spitting.