Police officer bitten by thief

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A MAN who stole a packet of ham from a supermarket and assaulted a police officer has been told by a court to start complying with a community order by getting help for his drug addiction or face prison.

Less than a week after Christopher Michael Morgan, 49, of Trinity Road, Bridlington, was given a community order with a drug rehabilitation requirement he stole a pack of ham from the Co-Operative store and assaulted a police constable while resisting arrest.

Morgan pleaded guilty to theft from a shop, assault with intent to resist arrest, assaulting a constable in the execution of duty, failing to surrender to police or court bail at an appointed time, and using threatening words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Prosecutor Jayne Wilson said that on December 13 Morgan was seen on CCTV taking a pack of ham, worth £3.05, from the Co-Op store without paying and was arrested at his home later that day.

“The officer took hold of Mr Morgan who tried to break free of his hold and then grabbed the lapels of his uniform,” Mrs Wilson said.

Morgan warned the officer if he did not let go he would “punch him hard”. Other officers then arrived as back up to find Morgan still struggling with the arresting officer.

The court also heard that on December 26 on St John Street, Bridlington police were trying to deal with a woman, Morgan’s girlfriend, who had seriously harmed herself. At the time a police officer had to point a taser at Morgan while trying to reduce the threat he posed.

He then failed to attend Bridlington Police Station to answer to his bail on January 6.

Police officers went to his home address where Morgan failed to answer the door but was seen at a window. Officers then gained entry to his flat.

Mrs Wilson said Morgan sprung up and charged at officers, swiping at one of them with a sock, and as they were restraining him he bit into PC Simon Stabler’s gloved hand.

In mitigation Mike Farr told the court the cause of all Morgan’s offending was a drug problem.

“Mr Morgan has been a long term drug user, it has never been addressed and he had hidden that fact in the past,” Mr Farr said.

“These offences relate to the fact that as a result of his drug problem he missed some back to work appointments and as a knock on effect of that his job seekers allowance was terminated. He was without any income of any sort for two months.

“He effectively stole the ham because he was hungry and didn’t have any money. He then aggravates the matter in as much as the shop reports the incident, officers come round to arrest him and Mr Morgan fails to answer the door,” Mr Farr added.

Mr Farr told the court that on December 26 Morgan’s partner tried to take her own life.

“Mr Morgan was in a great deal of distress and shock. He was precluded from getting into the ambulance with her and that was why he was irritated,” Mr Farr said.

The court heard that Morgan bit PC Stabler while being held in a head lock at his home.

“He woke up alarmed and startled and threw a sock at the officers which caused the other officer to get hold of him and put him in a head lock, he bit the officer while in the head lock,” Mr Farr said.

Presiding magistrate Robin Sunley said: “We have a duty to protect the public, protect shop staff and to protect the police from people who commit violent attacks. However sometime the way to overcome that is try to get them some treatment.”

Mr Sunley said the bench wanted Morgan’s treatment for drug addiction to continue and decided to defer sentencing for two months to allow him to get the help needed.

“If we had been sentencing you would quite clearly have been locking you up,” Mr Sunley added.

Morgan will re-appear at Bridlington Magistrates Court on March 27.