A drunken Mansfield man laughed when he spat in a policeman’s eye as he was being arrested in Newquay, a court heard.
Adrian Lewis hurled items of shopping across Gover Lane when officers confronted him after reports of “various incidents” in the town, in the early hours of June 11.
Prosecutor David Miles said: “He began shouting: “You can f****** have this.””
As he was being escorted to the police van Lewis spat in a police constable’s left eye, causing immediate “pain and discomfort.”
“Having committed the assault Lewis laughed, adding insult to injury,” the officer said in a victim impact statement, describing the assault as a “despicable act” which left him concerned about contracting a contagious disease.
Lewis, 34, of Sherwood Street, Mansfield, denied assault and being drunk and disorderly at Truro Magistrates Court, but was found guilty after a trial on August 25.
Probation officer Cheryl Nisbett said Lewis had mental health problems, including an emotionally unstable personality disorder and possible psychosis.
The court heard he had previous convictions for threatening behaviour, but this was his first assault.
Lewis was given a prison sentence at Liverpool Crown Court, on June 6, but was released soon after because of the time served on remand, and made his way to Cornwall.
Sarah Neale, mitigating, said he had not been on any medication at the time of the offence.
“He can’t explain why he found himself in Newquay,” she said. “He was drinking around the pubs. He said it all happened very, very quickly. He is remorseful.”
Magistrates said it was a “particularly nasty assault” that caused the officer “considerable fear, alarm and distress.
They gave Lewis a 16 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered him to “behave himself.”
He was ordered to pay £100 compensation, but court costs of £620 were waived because of his limited means.