Jail for homeless man who bit cop in Mansfield

A homeless man has been jailed after biting a Mansfield cop who was trying to stop him from smashing his head against a police van's walls, a court heard.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 16th January 2019, 3:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th January 2019, 3:33 pm
Court latest
Court latest

Officers were called to the Widow Frost pub, on Leeming Street, Mansfield, where Martin Neill was shouting, swearing and spitting at members of staff, on November 29.

Prosecutor Donna Fawcett said Neill clamped his teeth down on the officer’s right index knuckle and a “protracted struggle” to stop him banging his head ensued.

Probation officer Lucy Harrison told the court Neill was recalled to prison until February 4 as a result, but his probation officer was concerned he would not comply with post-sentence supervision upon release.

When she described how various attempts had been made to find him accommodation, Neill began shouting and swearing, and he was taken down to the cells.

The court heard he was in breach of a criminal behaviour order which banned him from the town centre, and a conditional discharge, imposed in June, last year.

David Grant, mitigating, said Neil “struggles to control himself when issues are projected in a way that he doesn’t necessarily agree with.”

Neil, 45, admitted common assault, assaulting a police officer and obstruction, and breaching court orders, when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Wednesday.

Sentencing Neil in his absence, district judge Jonathan Taaffe apologised to the probation officer for the outburst.

“Whether it was the case that Mr Neill was not going to prison, I would have had no hesitation in bringing him back and giving him 28 days for Contempt of Court,” he said.

A three year criminal behaviolur order, banning Neill from Mansfield town centre - except for addresses where he can access help - was imposed.

The district judge handed him a total of 26 weeks in prison, but no costs or compensation were ordered.