A drunken thug who spat at a Ninewells doctor after trying to bite her has avoided a prison sentence.
Simon Johnston later slapped Eleanor Matthew as she tried to assist him at the hospital’s accident and emergency department, Dundee Sheriff Court was told.
The 21-year-old’s actions drew scorn from a sheriff but Johnston was given a community order as an alternative to prison.
Sheriff John Rafferty said: “Without any shadow of a doubt, someone who goes into a hospital so intoxicated as to conduct themselves as you conducted yourself, is very likely to be facing a custodial sentence.
“I do, however, have to follow guidelines from sentencing bodies.”
‘Attempted to bite her wrist’
The court was told Johnston behaved erratically after turning up at A&E heavily under the influence after midnight on the day in question.
“The accused was asked to sit down on a bed,” said fiscal depute Christine Allan.
“As the doctor checked the accused’s eyes, he attempted to bite her left wrist.
“The doctor managed to avoid the attempted biting but the accused looked at her and spat at her.
“The doctor left for a few minutes but returned as she had to insert a line on the accused’s arm. As she did, the accused slapped the inside of her left arm.”
‘Ashamed of his behaviour’
Police later arrested Johnston, and the court heard Dr Matthew did not suffer any injuries.
Johnston, of Millgate Loan, Arbroath, pleaded guilty to assaulting Dr Matthew at Ninewells on September 9 2019 by trying to bite her on the body, spitting on her body and slapping her on the body.
Defence solicitor Angela McLardy said Johnston was “ashamed” of his behaviour but had little recollection of the incident.
She said: “He has no explanation for his behaviour. He is still suffering from the misuse of alcohol but he is addressing that.
“He appreciates the seriousness of the offence and there has been no further offending.
“He did wish to make apologies directly to the staff involved.”
Sheriff Rafferty placed Johnston on a community payback order comprising of 12 months of supervision along with a restriction of liberty order.
The order will keep Johnston indoors between 7pm and 5am for the next two months.
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