A MAN who spat blood at a police officer has been given a suspended sentence for his "absolutely disgusting behaviour".

Damien John Chorley, previously of Salisbury, had pleaded guilty to a string of offences, including assaulting police officers, theft and criminal damage.

Heard at Salisbury Magistrates' Court on Thursday, January 20, Chorley also headbutted another man during an altercation at the Salisbury pub Railway Tavern.

The first assaults heard took place on June 28, 2020, in Melksham, when police were called to "reports of banging and crying".

Prosecution told the court that Chorley was "abusive" towards officers, shouting "in an aggressive manner" and spitting in their direction, claiming he had Covid-19.

On this day he assaulted two police officers and, later in Salisbury, damaged a police car and police van.

On August 23, 2020, the 36-year-old assaulted another officer while in Basingstoke.

Police were called to a disturbance, which led to Chorley attempting to spit on and bite an officer.

In a statement the officer said Chorley had no regard for their health and welfare, and there could have been risk of contracting a disease or Covid-19.

Around a year later, June 4, 2021, the assault in Railway Tavern took place, during which Chorley headbutted another man, unknown to him, causing pain to his front teeth.

The court also heard that on November 26, 2021, Chorley stole a beanie hat from The Original Factory Shop in Warminster.

Chorley finally failed to surrender to court, having been released on bail, on September 8, 2020, and June 10 and July 2, 2021.

In mitigation Nick Redhead, of Redhead and Jones, told the court that Chorley had pleaded guilty "at the earliest opportunity", adding Chorley now "acknowledged [his actions were] disgusting and the police didn’t deserve that behaviour".

Mr Redhead told the court there was blood in Chorley's spit during the Basingstoke assault as he had been punched by an officer beforehand, leading to how Chorley had reacted.

With a "horrendous, difficult background" Chorley now had "a degree of stability", thanks to a new job and accommodation, Mr Redhead added.

Describing his actions as "absolutely disgusting behaviour", the magistrates gave Chorley, now of Swaledale Road, Warminster, a jail sentence of 18 weeks suspended for 18 months.

This means he will not be jailed on the condition he does not commit another offence.

He was ordered to pay £200 in compensation, and must attend appointments and activities as instructed by his officer, on top of a thinking skills programme and mental health support.

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