Sheffield Crown Court: Cop feared contracting "fatal disease" after he was bitten by "frothing" thug

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A police officer feared that he might contract a “potentially fatal disease” after he was bitten on the leg by a thug “frothing at the mouth”.

Sheffield Crown Court heard on August 24 how Nathan Rowley, aged 31, had been arrested for other matters which were not pursued but while he was in Doncaster police station’s custody suite he attacked an officer.

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Louise Gallagher, prosecuting, said Rowley was drunk, shouting, swearing and “frothing at the mouth” and as an officer tried to remove the defendant’s handcuffs he bit the policeman on his right calf, continued to make threats and punched a perspex hatch.

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Pictured is Doncaster Police Station, near College Road, Doncaster.Pictured is Doncaster Police Station, near College Road, Doncaster.
Pictured is Doncaster Police Station, near College Road, Doncaster.

Ms Gallagher added: “As a result of the assault the officer sustained a small puncture wound to his right calf and was treated by a nurse and sent to hospital for a tetanus injection.”

The officer has had to have continued blood tests to establish if he had contracted any diseases from the wound, according to Ms Gallagher.

He stated that during this time he had worried that he might have contracted a “potentially fatal disease” and that if he had contracted anything he might have infected his family.

Rowley, who has 21 previous convictions for 30 offences including violence, pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker after the incident on May 9.

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Rebecca Turner, defending, said Rowley, of St James Street, Doncaster, was remanded in custody between May 11 and July 26 concerning the other matters but when they were dropped he was released.

Ms Turner added that Rowley has recognised that he needs help and being in custody helped him to detoxify and he has engaged with support groups to address his issues.

Judge Kirstie Watson told Rowley: “Your behaviour was disgraceful and under the influence of alcohol you behaved aggressively towards police officers who lawfully detained you.”

Reflecting on the bitten police officer, She also told the defendant: “As a result of that bite you punctured his calf and that has had a long-term affect on him.”

Judge Watson sentenced Rowley to a six-month custodial sentence suspended for 18 months with a 12-month community order with an Alcohol Treatment Requirement and 200 hours of unpaid work.