Sidford man sentenced after biting police officer

A Sidford man has been given a suspended sentence after biting a police officer.

A SIDFORD man was in court after biting a police officer in what was described as ‘vile and horrible behaviour’.

Lee James Rasmussen, of Lower Brook Meadows, appeared at Central Devon Magistrates Court last week charged with offences of obstructing and resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer and causing criminal damage.

The incident occurred on February 16, when police responded to reports of a fight at a property in Nelson Drive, Exmouth.

Alison Jordan prosecuting said: “Police officers found the defendant in one of the bedrooms where they noticed he had sustained facial injuries and his mouth and teeth were covered in blood.

“When he was spoken to he appeared agitated and smelt strongly of alcohol. He refused to give details and co-operate with police in anyway.”

The court heard the defendant aggressively lunged towards PC Halloran, which led to his arrest.

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He continued to be uncooperative and went on to bite PC Andrew Squires who was also at the scene.

Miss Jordan added: “As he was being taken forward he tucked his head between the legs of PC Squires, who was heard to shout that he had been bitten by the defendant.”

The 27-year-old, who was described as being in a ‘highly agitated’ state, then proceeded to spit blood over the back of the passenger seat of the police car.

PC Squires suffered bruising to his upper left thigh and experienced significant pain and discomfort following the attack by Rasmussen.

Caroline Salvatore for the defence said: “The defendant takes full moral and legal responsibility for his actions.

“Immediately before the arrival of the police the defendant had himself been the victim of a considerable assault and was still quite dazed and disorientated when the police arrived at the scene.”

The court heard that Rasmussen, who has problems with alcohol, had been attacked by two people and had been repeatedly punched and stamped on the head.

Rasmussen was given a 12 week prison sentence for the assault on PC Squires on top of a 21 day suspended sentence to run concurrently. These sentences will be suspended for two years.

In addition to this he received a 18 month supervision order.

The chairman of the Magistrates Court, Ann Morcraft, said: “This is not a pretty picture, in fact it is very vile and horrible behaviour.

“Our initial reaction to this behaviour is that this is a matter, taking into account your past history, that warrants prison.”

However, Mrs Morcraft took into account that Rasmussen had not been offered appropriate support by the probation service to deal with his problems, such as alcohol.

She added: “You are on a very, very thin tightrope on the way you behave.

“Biting and blood are very dangerous for people. PC Squires did not know who you were or where you have been and I am sure it caused considerable distress.”

Rasmussen was also ordered to pay �80 compensation for the attack on PC Squires.