Crazed man with blade who launched sustained terror on Portsmouth pub before licking blood and spitting at police officer is jailed
A CRAZED man with a blade unleashed ‘sustained’ terror on a pub where he lashed out at those inside and smashed windows after being chased outside by an angry mob, before licking blood from his hand and spitting at a police officer.
Unhinged Spencer Saunders, 26, was jailed after sparking riotous scenes at Drayton pub the Manor House in Court Lane.
The convicted Paulsgrove drug dealer, of Camcross Close, turned nasty after suspicions from staff he was smoking cannabis in the rear garden around 9.30pm on August 14, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.
Despite warnings from the landlord, Saunders was then embroiled in an altercation outside before he was asked to leave - triggering chaos.
After having his drink removed by the landlord, Saunders said: ‘If you don’t give me it back I will smash your windows.’
He then goaded the landlord amid concerns he had drugs. ‘He pulled out a powder and put it in his mouth and started screaming,’ prosecutor Matthew Lawson said.
Despite repeatedly refusing to leave the pub, staff were able to escort him from the rear garden through the pub when he suddenly turned violent towards a male punter who was having a drink with a lady.
‘(Saunders) ended up fighting with him. He was punching the male customer with the (bladed) weapon in his hand,’ Mr Lawson said.
‘Other customers got involved and the defendant ran out the front door. The defendant then attacks the front door and causes window panes to shatter before he smeared blood from his hand on the window surface.’
Police were called to the scene and in CCTV shown to the court tried to calm Saunders outside the front of the pub as he shouted abuse towards the landlord and staff.
At one point Saunders, who also threatened to burn the pub down, said: ‘I remember your faces. I will get you.’
Saunders’ ‘agitated’ behaviour nosedived further as an officer discovered the bladed weapon on him before arresting him.
‘He then licked blood from his bleeding hand and spat towards the face of the officer,’ Mr Lawson said.
Officers quickly reacted by pushing his head down before Saunders - who had dilated pupils - ‘laughed hysterically’.
The police officer, who was spat at, described Saunders’ behaviour as ‘extremely bizarre’ and ‘disgusting’ before adding: ‘I come to work to help people and don’t expect to be spat at.
‘It put my health at risk and that of my family. I needed a Covid test. It was a huge worry for me and my family.’
Once in a police custody cell, Saunders’ extraordinary behaviour continued with him ‘banging his head against the wall repeatedly’.
While in custody, he told officers: ‘I will put the Manor House up in smoke.’
The court heard the series of offences meant he was in breach of a suspended sentence for dealing heroin and crack cocaine given to him in March 2020.
Defence barrister Barry McElduff said Saunders odd behaviour was not due to drug-taking - as suspected by police - but was because he had ‘stupidly’ stopped taking his anti-depressant medication.
The lawyer said there was no evidence of drugs being found and said the defendant had only had one pint of beer - with him ‘lucid at times’ to officers.
The bladed point was said to have been a device used for fishing which had fallen out of his bag and was then put into his pocket.
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Attempts to keep Saunders out of jail came down to Mr McElduff pressing home how Saunders’ grandma, who he lived with, was ‘entirely reliant’ on him for her care.
But judge Timothy Mousley QC, despite admitting that factor had caused him to ‘hesitate’ whether to impose immediate jail, said the offences were ‘too serious’ not to.
‘You made a number of threats to people including threats to kill. At one stage you took a pointed object - a very nasty weapon - and swung out with that,’ he said.
‘You kicked the glass door and were looking for a fight. And when police were called you licked the blood on your hand and spat towards an officer. It seemed you were under the influence of something.
‘It was a sustained incident where you made indiscriminate threats and created fear and violence to multiple people.’
Saunders, who was guilty of possessing a weapon, assaulting an emergency worker, threatening behaviour, criminal damage and breaching a suspended sentence, was jailed for 18-months.