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Thatcham man spits in the face of police officer after 10-pint binge

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Argument over who should drive home escalates into arrest

A Thatcham man spat in the face of a police officer after a 10-pint binge and an argument over who should drive home.

At Newbury Magistrates Court on Thursday, March 31 was Patrick Alan Bremner, aged 29, of Mount Road, who pleaded guilty to assaulting Pc Argyle after being arrested for drunk and disorderly behaviour at Bradley Moore Square.

The court heard how when two police officers – Pc Argyle and a colleague – arrived at the scene on March 11 at around 9.30pm they saw two men fighting with each other.

Prosecuting, Helen Waites, said: “Pc Argyle approached one of the men and his colleague approached the other chap who was involved.

“Pc Argyle approached Mr Bremner and said he smelled of alcohol. He asked if he was okay, and he was swearing at him.

“He arrested him for being drunk and disorderly and the man continued to swear at him.

“He was tensing up and they took him towards the vehicle. He was getting more and more agitated, saying he wanted to die and wanted the officer to kill him.

“He was handcuffed at this stage and the officer loosed the handcuff in an attempt to get him to calm down.

“On the journey to Newbury police station, Mr Bremner spat in the face of the officer. Mr Bremner found it funny.

“He [Pc Argyle] did wash his face as soon as possible. We can all imagine how quickly we would want to wipe someone’s spittle off of our face.

“It was a rather unpleasant and unnecessary incident.

“Mr Bremner said he didn’t really know what had happened. He was very open about being drunk. He didn’t really remember much after being arrested.”

She added that later during interview he did apologise for his actions.

Defending, Mr Mike Davis, said: “I do repeat his apology he made at interview. The officer concerned doesn’t deserve to be treated that way.

“Mr Bremner understands he had had a lot to drink. He had had about 10 pints.”

Referring to the argument which police were initially called to, he said it was a case of Mr Bremner “trying to do the right thing”.

Mr Davies said that the other man had suggested driving home, but that Mr Bremner thought he was in no fit state.

He added: “The defendant said it was not a good idea so tried to take the keys off him.

“He was trying to do the right thing, but unfortunately because he had had a lot to drink he didn’t do it in the right way.

“He was trying to do the right thing but went about it in a very bad way.”

He added: “Just before the incident he had had a falling out with his partner. He says it was a blip and a one-off.”

Presiding magistrate Phillip Taylor said on passing sentence that the decision came very close to a community order and added: “We have a police officer going about his duty and you have spat in his face, causing spittle to run down his face. That is just not good enough, Mr Bremner.”

He was ordered to pay compensation to Pc Argyle of £150, a fine of £200, a victim surcharge of £20 and costs of £85, totalling £455.

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