Tayside and Central Scotland

Arbroath man jailed for spitting at Tayside police woman

disease testing
Image caption The female officer had to have HIV and hepatitis tests following the incident

A man who spat blood into the mouth of a female Tayside police officer then said: "I've got hepatitis, good luck with that" has been jailed.

Jamie Stewart was arrested by the officer, who has not been named, after a disturbance in Arbroath on 14 August.

Arbroath Sheriff Court heard that as he struggled with officers he spat in the woman's face.

Sheriff Peter Paterson jailed Stewart, who admitted charges of assault and breach of the peace, for 18 months.

The court was told officers rushed to the scene of the disturbance in Arbroath and removed Stewart, who had blood around his mouth.

He began to struggle as a woman tried to free him from the officers' grip.

Test results

Arbroath Sheriff Court heard that Stewart then spat in the female officer's face, with the blood that was going into his mouth.

She then faced a lengthy wait for test results to tell if she had been infected with any disease.

However, the court heard that it was not thought Stewart suffered from any communicable illnesses.

Fiscal depute Arlene Shaw told the court: "He was taken in a police van to force HQ in Dundee. On arrival it was decided he should be taken to a holding cell.

"The PC who was assaulted by him escorted him there. En route he stated 'I've got hepatitis you bitch, good luck with that'."

Intravenous drug user

Stewart initially refused to give police access to his medical records but after consulting with his solicitor gave permission.

Ms Shaw added: "There's no record of him having any infectious diseases but he was an intravenous user of heroin in the past.

"The PC who was assaulted attended Ninewells Hospital where blood was taken for testing.

"As of October 11 the PC still does not have an answer as to whether or not she has been infected by Hepatitis A, C or E or HIV."

Stewart, a prisoner at HMP Perth, pleaded guilty on indictment to charges of assault and breach of the peace, committed on 14 August at an address in Arbroath and at Tayside Police HQ in Dundee.

The court heard the officer involved will not find out the results of her tests until the end of January.

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