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Drunk Wick man fined after spitting in policeman's face


By Court Reporter

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Wick Sheriff Court.
Wick Sheriff Court.

A drunken Wick man who spat in a policeman's face has been ordered to pay him compensation of £1000.

Self-employed plumber Murray Bain (32) was said to have no recollection of the incident which required the officer to have a series of health checks to ensure he had not suffered any infection.

Wick Sheriff Court heard that police officers acting on information received, located Bain in High Street, Wick, around 1am, on August 28, last year.

Fiscal depute David Barclay said that the accused was "very drunk" and was bleeding from a cut above one of his eyes.

He added: "The police were not aware whether the injury had been caused by Bain falling or whether he had been the

victim of a crime."

The officers wanted to take him to the accident and emergency department at Caithness General Hospital but Bain made it clear

his intention was to make his own way home.

He spat on Constable Thomas Staples's face and to prevent any further incidents the accused was arrested.

He subsequently had stitches inserted in his eye wound.

Mr Barclay said that the officer was referred to occupational health and was advised that he would require to have blood tests over a three-month period which showed there had been no infection or medical issues arising.

The fiscal added: "Constables Staples had the stress of not knowing what the results would be and it was a relief for him to learn that there were no practical or medical consequences."

Solicitor George Mathers said that Bain simply couldn't remember anything about the spitting incident which was "completely out of character."

Mr Mathers said that the accused and a colleague had decided to go for a drink after work. The colleague didn't stay long but Bain carried on drinking and became extremely drunk.

The solicitor added: "He has no idea how he came by his injury or spitting on the police officer and is extremely sorry."

Bain admitted a charge of assault, on indictment and also pleaded guilty to possession of two knives.

However, the specialist blades were described by Sheriff Mark Lindsay as being the tools of Bain's trade as a plumber and he regarded the possession of them as "a technical breach of the law".

Bain, of Four Winds, Killimster, was admonished on the knives charge. The blades were not forfeited.

The accused was allowed to pay the compensation to Constable Staples at the rate of £25, a week.

Sheriff Lindsay told Bain: "The court takes a serious view of any assault on a police officer in the line of his duty" and referred to the worrying wait for Constable Staples before he "got the all-clear".


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