Wayne Wilkinson, 36, lashed out at the visor-wearing officer during an unprovoked attack in Cosham on October 2 when police were called to a ‘commotion’ at a flat.
Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard how prolific burglar Wilkinson, who had only recently been released from prison, had turned to drinking after blaming a probation officer for his plight in having no address.
‘(Wilkinson) had a number of problems with the probation officer upon his release in securing accommodation after having no fixed abode,’ defence lawyer Saleem Choudhury said.
‘He was very concerned about what would happen to him and was sleeping on the street and on people’s sofas and resorted to drinking.’
On the day of the incident Wilkinson had gone to see an ‘associate’ when events erupted.
‘There was a commotion at the flat which was why the police were called. Unfortunately during the incident he spat at the officer with it landing on his face, though the officer was wearing a visor,’ Mr Choudhury said.
‘An attempt was made to bite the officer - it was more down to the frustration of the system.
‘His probation officer was not as helpful as they could be and now the defendant is back before court for a serious offence.’
Mr Choudhury added: ‘(Wilkinson) is under no illusion of the severity of the matter especially under the current climate with Covid.’
Wilkinson, who admitted a charge of assaulting an emergency worker, was previously jailed for 18 months in November 2018 for 14 burglaries.
Deputy district judge Roderick Hine told Wilkinson: ‘You richly deserve to go to prison today.
‘It is disgusting to spit at someone especially in the current climate. It was lucky it landed on his face protection otherwise I would be sending you down.’
But the judge admitted he had some sympathy with Wilkinson’s situation. He added: ‘You had just come out of prison and had no support.’
Instead Judge Hine handed Wilkinson a 16-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months
He will also have to complete 180 hours of unpaid work and attend 10 rehabilitation days, as well as pay £100 compensation, a surcharge of £122 and costs of £85.
‘If you breach then you will come back to court and I will send you straight down,’ the judge said.