A drug-fuelled thug who overpowered two police officers and attacked them with their own pepper spray has been jailed for 16 months.
Former hospital worker and amateur footballer Reece Cuthbert also pinned down one of the officers and tried to gouge his eyeball out.
Sheriff Alistair Carmichael told him: “You assaulted two police officers, and that included taking their PAVA spray from them and spraying it into their faces.
“You also attempted to gouge the eye of one officer, and after pinning him to the ground and punching him repeatedly, you again tried to gouge his eye.
“This behaviour is simply not acceptable against anybody. It has crossed the custodial threshold,” the sheriff told Dundee Sheriff Court.
Cuthbert, 25, was resisting arrest when he grabbed the cannister of spray from one of the officers’ body armour.
Cuthbert, of Dundee, admitted assaulting and injuring PC Julie Donaldson by pushing her and discharging PAVA spray into her face on September 22 last year.
He also admitted attacking and injuring PC Andrew Nicol by pushing him, grabbing the canister from him and spraying him in the face during the incident on the city’s Haddington Avenue.
He admitted causing the officer to fall to the ground, and while he was on top of him, trying to gouge his eye to his injury.
Fiscal depute Stewart Duncan said Cuthbert was found by officers in the bin storage area of his mother’s home and he initially tried to run away.
One of the officers clipped his heel as he ran away and all three eventually became involved in a brawl in the garden area.
“Due to his strength and body position they could not achieve getting handcuffs on him.
“He overpowered the officer by grabbing his body armour,” Mr Duncan said.
“He was able to grab hold of the PAVA canister. He took off the safety cap, pressed the nozzle and sprayed it in both of their faces.
“PC Nicol managed to kick it out of his hand. Cuthbert continued to resist.
“He took hold of the officer’s glasses and tried to gouge his left eye.
“He was pushing his eyeball. PC Donaldson extended her baton and struck him twice to the back but it had no effect.
“The accused continued to pin PC Nicol on the ground and gouge his eye. The accused was struck three or four times on the head but they struggled to achieve an effective strike.”
Both officers suffered a number of bruising injuries as well as irritation from being exposed to the acidic spray.
Solicitor Paul Parker-Smith, said his client worked in electrical maintenance and was a keen footballer who played for a local team.
He said Cuthbert had taken diazepam on the day in question and could remember very little about what he had done to the officers.
The court was told Cuthbert had started taking cocaine and drinking heavily before the incident.
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