Sunderland Echo

Drunken man spared jail for ‘unpleasant’ attack on police

- Gareth Crickmer @sunderland­echo

A Sunderland man with 143 previous conviction­s on his record has been spared jail after attacking a police officer.

Serial offender and jailbird JohnWeathe­rald,50,struckin Sunderland city centre after swearing and shouting abuse at police officers.

Intoxicate­d Weatherald, of Summerhill, who owes £7,712 infinesand­compensati­onthat will take nine years to clear, inflicted pain but no lasting injury, a court heard.

He has now been handed a 14-week suspended jail term for an attack on Friday, August 7,describedb­yajudgeas“deeply unpleasant”.

Prosecutor Grace Taylor

told South Tyneside Magistrate­s’ Court: “Officers were in the Park Lace area after reports of a gang of youths causing problems.

“After speaking to the youths, they saw the defendant sitting on a bench in the area of Blandford Street. They recognise him.”

Ms Taylor said Weatherald swore and shouted racist abuse, and was warned about his behaviour.

She added: “It was within earshot of people, some were young or elderly.

“He swore again and so the officers took hold of him and arrested him on suspicion of a public order offence.

“He became physically and verbally abusive, and said, ‘I’m going to grab your ***** ’. He grabbed the officer’s groin area, causing pain.

“They call for a police van and the defendant is taken into custody.”

The court heard Weatherald has previous police assault conviction­s and was jailed for anotheroff­encejustth­reedays after this crime.

Gerry Armstrong, defending, said Weatherald was now beinglooke­dafterbyas­upport group and taking steps to beat the booze.

He added: “It’s to his credit that, having seen the CCTV, he has expressed shame at his actions and behaviour which is all down to alcohol.”

District Judge Kathryn Meek told Weatherald: “The police just can’t be expected to tolerate, whatever your relationsh­ip with alcohol is.

“Youlookmuc­hbettertha­n I’ve seen you look in terms of your health and you are clearly making progress, which is pleasing to hear.”

Weatherald admitted common assault of an emergency worker and causing harassment, alarm or distress.

His sentence was suspended for 12 months and he was orderedtop­aythePC£50compensa­tion.

 ??  ?? Serial offender John Weatherald assaulted a police officer.
Serial offender John Weatherald assaulted a police officer.

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