wooden gavel on table in courtroom

A man who spat in the face of a policeman as he was arrested him has been found guilty of assaulting an emergency worker.

Andre Smith, aged 30, of Brixton Hill, south London, was convicted at St Albans Crown Court on Friday 7 January.

The court heard how on Saturday 10 August 2019, police were called to a disturbance at a property in the Cotterells, Hemel Hempstead.

They detained and arrested Smith in connection with the incident, but as he was being placed in the back of a police car he spat in the face of a male Constable.

As a result, a spit hood was then placed over Smith’s head to protect the victim and his colleagues from further assault, and the defendant was successfully conveyed to custody.

Detective Constable Pippa Mason, who investigated the incident, said: “Spitting is a repulsive act and is never acceptable in any situation.

In this case, Smith’s saliva covered the male officer’s eyes, nose and mouth. When the victim arrived home from work later that day, he felt he could not hug his partner and children as he normally would.

“It is never acceptable for police officers, staff or any other emergency worker to be assaulted while performing their duties, so I hope Smith’s conviction serves as a warning that such behaviour will not be tolerated in Hertfordshire. We will never hesitate to take immediate action against anyone who behaves in this manner.”

Smith has been released on bail and is scheduled to appear for sentencing at St Albans Crown Court on Friday 18 February.

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