Elgin drug addict sentenced for spitting at PC
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An Elgin drug addict who spat at a police constable and kicked him in the stomach was spared a jail sentence earlier today.
Defence solicitor Stephen Carty told Inverness Sheriff Court the circumstances were "unusual" and that Leslie Robertson did not have a history of giving the police difficulties.
Sentence had previously been deferred for a background report on Robertson, who admitted previous convictions which showed his last offence against the police was 14 years ago.
The incident happened in Masonic Close on December 30, when two officers saw a man lying in the stairwell.
Fiscal depute Robert Weir told the court they tried to help Roberts to his feet.
However the 41-year-old lashed out with his legs.
Mr Weir said: "He was arrested and as they attempted to restrain Robertson, he spat at one.
"He was handcuffed to the rear and placed into a spit hood but continued to repeatedly spit.
"He also continued to kick out with his legs and straps were applied.
"Robertson was taken to Elgin Police Office where he was aggressive and abusive throughout, and refused to comply with the procedures."
Defence solicitor Stephen Carty told the court: "He had taken alcohol but was not drunk.
"He had also taken his prescription medication and the combination of the two had an effect.
"He had gone to visit a friend but fell asleep on the stairwell.
"He was awakened by a torch being shone in his face.
"He didn't know immediately that it was police, found this threatening and reacted.
"Matters escalated from there and he felt that the police were being heavy-handed with him and he was being treated very roughly.
"He accepts that he spat at the police but there was no mention of Covid.
"My client has a long standing drug problem but is taking steps to address his issues.
"This could be dealt with by a sentence in the community."
Sheriff Margaret Neilson agreed "with some hesitation".
She said: "Spitting at police officers is a disgusting offence and you should be ashamed of yourself."
Robertson, of Morriston Road, Elgin, was sentenced to the maximum 300 hours of unpaid work.
He was also placed under social work supervision for a year.
Sheriff Neilson told Robertson that if he breached the order in any way he would go to jail.