Man jailed for spitting Whitsunday cop’s face
A JUDGE has berated a man for spitting in a Whitsunday cop's face labelling the vile behaviour as a "disgusting and demeaning act".
Bradley Laidlaw had been released on parole when he lashed out at emergency workers.
Mackay District court heard he was drunk and on drugs when he phoned Triple-0 and was taken to Proserpine hospital over "mental health concerns" on November 4 last year.
Crown Prosecutor Samantha O'Rourke said he was aggressive with hospital staff and police and had tried to leave the room when he was guided back by the victim police officer.
"He started calling the officer names and tried to headbutt him," Ms O'Rourke said.
"His behaviour escalated to the point where he spat in the officer's face and called him … a f***ing coward."
The 32 year old pleaded guilty to aggravated serious assault and being a public nuisance.
Ms O'Rourke said the man had spent about six months in custody but only 88 days could be declared as he was also serving out another sentence relating to a "persistent assault" on a housemate.
The court heard Laidlaw had a lengthy Victorian criminal history that featured multiple entries for violence including convictions for assaulting and resisting and emergency workers on duty.
Defence barrister Scott McLennan said his client had mental health issues and was being treated by a psychiatrist but he was also an alcoholic.
While undergoing treatment in 2017 he spiralled out of control after discovering his girlfriend and friend in bed together.
"He's ashamed for his behaviour," Mr McLennan said.
The court heard Laidlaw planned to return to rehabilitation once released.
"Police, of course, have a difficult job to do," Judge Brad Farr said.
"Spitting in the face of another person is a disgusting and demeaning act and deserving of condign punishment."
Judge Farr accepted Laidlaw was ashamed of his behaviour but said that had to be viewed against his criminal history.
Laidlaw was jailed for 12 months to be suspended after serving four months.