Police spat at by drunk man at Rugby’s Asda

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A man who assaulted police officers in Rugby has been jailed.

Neil Stuart Barnhill, 42, admitted five offences, all committed in Rugby last month.

He pleaded guilty before magistrates in Nuneaton to assaulting three officers in the execution of their duty; using threatening, abusive, or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour; and stealing a bottle of wine from Asda.

Prosecutor Jez Newsome said police were called on September 6 after Barnhill, who was very drunk, returned to the store about two hours after stealing the wine, swore at and stuck a member of staff to the side of his face, and spat in the face of a police officer.

Eight days later, he was being treated in an ambulance after slashing his wrists while locked in a cubicle in Rugby Library. He got out of the ambulance while it was at traffic lights and staggered off up Oliver Street. He refused to be handcuffed and gave a PCSO “a double-handed push.”

Barnhill was taken to the floor, shouting and swearing, and at spat in another officer’s face. When put in a police van he spat at PCSO Holland.

Mitigating, Roger Day said: “He appreciates that his behaviour was completely unacceptable. He was in drink.”

Sentencing Barnhill, of Leicester, to a total of four months’ imprisonment, presiding magistrate Michael Ashcroft said the offences were “very serious.”