‘It’s just wrong’ - Criminal who spat blood at Pc ordered to pay just £50
- Credit: MartisMedia
An Essex police officer who had blood spat in his face says his attacker will “feel like he’s got away with it” after being asked to pay just £50 compensation by Colchester magistrates.
Pc Rhys Linge has to await tests to see if the attack on August 31 has left him with a disease.
“It was disgusting,” he said. “It’s one of the worst things that a human being can do to another human, especially the fact that it was in the face as well, and that it was full of blood. If a magistrate was spat at I’m sure it would be a different outcome. It’s just wrong – all the work we put in to doing what we do. It’s the fact that this man is out again and the fact that the money’s such a low amount.”
Essex Police Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh has also questioned the leniency of the punishment. “I think it’s entirely reasonable to question how a second assault on a police constable gets a £50 fine,” he said on Twitter. “Society needs to better protect our protectors.”
Pc Linge was helping to deal with reports of a man smashing up a property when it happened. Officers had the man under control and were administering first aid for a face injury, which was bleeding heavily.
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As he was read the details of his arrest the man screamed and sprayed blood into the air.
Pc Linge, who was 20 at the time of the attack, asked him not to spit as blood was continuing to drip into his mouth from a nose injury. The suspect reportedly began to struggle and spat at Pc Linge showering his face, glasses and radio in bloody saliva, which went into his mouth.
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Pc Linge said he and colleagues felt the courts had “let us down yet again”. “There is no deterrent, and obviously members of the public now are going to view that as well,” he added. “But to be honest, because of what we do, you just have to knuckle down and get on with it and wait for the next harm. “If people are doing this to police officers then they should be going away for a period of time.”
Essex Police Federation chairman Steve Taylor said: “For this individual to come before the bench, to plead guilty for this assault and to be on licence for the offence of having assaulted a police officer in the past and not to receive a custodial sentence, not to receive something far more meaningful than having to pay £50 compensation, which is a paltry figure and probably won’t be received by the officer anyway – is incredibly poor,” he said.