Prison for Matlock Bath man who assaulted paramedic

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A drunken man assaulted a female paramedic who had gone to his aid and then spat blood in the face of a police officer who was trying to arrest him.

Mark Sowter “became a monster” on the night he pushed paramedic Claire Lowe and PC Simon Wolverson, Derby Crown Court was told.

Sarah Slater, prosecuting, said the 29-year-old had been drinking in The Wheatsheaf, in St John’s Street, Wirksworth, and the emergency services were called amid concerns he was hurt.

She said when Ms Lowe got to a nearby address, Sowter, of Dale Road, Matlock Bath, was “aggressive with her” as she tried to treat him.

Miss Slater said: “Miss Lowe was trying to obtain blood from the defendant by pricking his finger and he became upset, hitting out with both his arms on her chest, forcing her to stagger back and fall.

“Police were there and told him he would be arrested and be taken to a police station.

“He had his fists clenched, he was aggressive. Police had to use CS spray to calm him down.

“He was further abusive to the police who got him to the floor and when they got him to the floor he spat blood in the face of PC Wolverson, who had to be checked for disease as a result after the incident.

“In his statement PC Wolverson said the defendant ‘became a monster that night’.”

Miss Slater said Sowter was arrested and in interview said he could not remember the incident because he was so drunk – but he did apologise for his actions.

Ms Lowe was not seriously injured in the assault, which happened in the early hours of September 20.

Sowter pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault when he appeared at the court.

He was produced for the sentencing hearing from prison, where Miss Slater said he was already serving a 16-week sentence for a previous, unrelated, assault, imposed on October 25.

Recorder Andrew Easteal handed Sowter an additional 20 days in prison, 10 days for each of the two assaults.

He told him: “It was cowardly, violent and you should be deeply ashamed of what you did.

“Both complainants were acting in a public capacity and your behaviour towards them that night was shameful.

“I make it absolutely clear to the two victims that the sentence I hand out is only short because I am tied by guidelines and cannot issue you with any more (time in prison).”

Nick Walsh, for Sowter, said his client “is the first to acknowledge the shameful way he behaved while drunk”.