Offender who bit police officer walks free from court
A man who bit one police officer and kicked another has been sentenced to 118 days in jail.
Leroy Steven McHarrie has already served the time on remand so he will be released immediately.
The 22-year-old, who lives in Mona Drive in Douglas, pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting a police officer.
Other charges of affray, possessing an imitation firearm in public, and property damage, alleged on a different date, were dismissed after the Crown offered no evidence due to the complainants in the case having admitted they had been taking drugs at the time, so they were deemed unreliable witnesses.
Prosecuting advocate Barry Swain told the court that McHarrie was being taken to police headquarters on New Year’s Day after being arrested in relation to a breach of bail.
During his arrest, he tried to trip one officer by kicking out in what was described as a reverse leg sweep, causing the officer to lose balance.
McHarrie then bit another officer on the hand though no injury was caused.
He was put in a cell but as the officers were leaving he spat phlegm and blood at a Perspex screen and said: ‘I’ve got Covid.’
Deemster Bernard Richmond QC queried why the offences had been committed to the Court of General Gaol Delivery, but Mr Swain said this had been because, at the time, the other charges, which were now dismissed, were being pursued.
Defence advocate Paul Glover said that his client had been in custody for 118 days, the equivalent of an eight-month sentence.
Mr Glover asked for credit to be given for the guilty pleas and added that McHarrie had not sought a probation report as he wanted to be sentenced immediately.
‘The offences were unpleasant, we are talking a bite and a kick,’ said the advocate.
‘Mr McHarrie informs me he didn’t have Covid. It was simply said out of frustration.’
Deemster Richmond told McHarrie: ‘At 22, your life does not seem to be going anywhere particularly good.
‘Do you like the idea of dragging your family to court to watch you being sentenced and to go through being searched so they can visit you in prison?
‘It’s up to you if you’re going to spend your life in these courts.
‘I have a job to make it clear to anybody that the police will be protected by these courts.’
The Deemster also told McHarrie that if he had been sentencing him in England he might have put him under a curfew order for 28 days, but this is not possible under Manx law.