A sheriff jailed a “disgraceful” thug who gobbed at a custody officer after claiming to have coronavirus.
Multiple police officers struggled to control Jason O’Neil after he launched a furious outburst at the force’s headquarters on West Bell Street back in June.
O’Neil saw red after he waited several hours before being taken to the charge bar. The 26-year-old was suspected of having drugs and officers had taken him to headquarters for a strip search.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard that O’Neil became increasingly agitated while waiting in a police vehicle.
The lout began to strike his head off the vehicle and said he would start coughing on people, adding: “I’ve got the coronavirus.”
Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson said: “It increased the accused’s agitation after hearing he would be held in police custody.
“The accused stood up and stated ‘come on then’ with his chest puffed out and his fists clenched. He was restrained and placed in handcuffs.
“He shouted ‘If the nurse comes I’ll bite her.’”
O’Neil was then led to the charge bar for processing where he spat across the paths of the two arresting officers.
He then spat towards custody support officer Lauren Soutar who was protected by a screen. The unsavoury incident was captured on CCTV and played to the court.
O’Neil appeared via video link from HMP Perth to plead guilty to repeatedly shouting, swearing, banging his head against a vehicle, making abusive remarks, stating he had coronavirus, spitting on the ground and repeatedly biting a spit hood on June 6.
He also admitted assaulting Miss Soutar by spitting towards her, having previously claimed to be infected with coronavirus.
The offences were committed while O’Neil was subject to seven different bail orders from the same court
Defence solicitor Ross Donnelly said O’Neil, a man with numerous previous convictions, was apologetic for his behaviour but added that this was not his first violent incident involving police officers.
“I am not instructed by him to consider anything other than a custodial sentence,” Mr Donnelly told Sheriff Tom Hughes.
“He realises that would be futile and, quite frankly, a waste of everyone’s time. I can’t stand here and say this is the first time he has behaved in this way towards police officers and he knows the court will not condone that sort of behaviour.”
When passing sentence, Sheriff Hughes said: “The position is that you appear to have lost your temper and acted in a manner which is quite disgraceful.
“You can’t be allowed to treat police officers in the way that you do. You are referring to Covid-19 and spitting out and that will not be tolerated by the courts.”
O’Neil was sentenced to a total of 26 months in prison.