Man who assaulted railway staff member and spat in officer's face is jailed

Shaun Cattermole was jailed for six months at Ipswich Crown Court

Shaun Cattermole was jailed at Ipswich Crown Court for six months - Credit: Suffolk police

A man who assaulted a member of staff at Ipswich railway station before spitting in the face of a police officer has been jailed. 

Shaun Cattermole, 31, was seen behaving erratically at the station on August 19, 2020, and appeared intoxicated, Ipswich Crown Court heard. 

A station cleaner saw a dog walk past him off a lead followed by Cattermole, who was shouting at people on the platform, Lynne Shirley, prosecuting, told the court. 

Cattermole, of Smart Street, Ipswich, was seen getting on the train before jumping off again to grab the dog, Ms Shirley said. 

When the cleaner told Cattermole to calm down, he replied: "Do you want to have a go?" 

A member of the customer services team at the station then stepped in as Cattermole continued to be abusive. 

Cattermole squared up to the man before pushing him in the chest with both hands, the court heard. 

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He continued to make threats, telling the member of staff: "I will rock your jaw." 

Police arrived and Cattermole continually swore at officers before making a racist comment towards a passerby. 

The court saw both CCTV footage from the railway station and officers' body-worn camera coverage of the incident. 

Cattermole was arrested and while in the custody suite at Martlesham Police Investigation Centre, he turned his head and spat at a female officer. 

The spittle landed on the officer's forehead, above her eyebrow, the court heard. 

In a victim personal statement read in court by Ms Shirley, the officer said there were very few things "as degrading" as being spat on. 

In police interview, Cattermole, who has extensive previous convictions, answered no comment to questions. 

Cattermole previously pleaded guilty to assault by beating, assault of an emergency worker, a racially aggravated public order offence and using threatening words or behaviour. 

Isobel Ascherson, mitigating, said Cattermole's personal circumstances had very much improved since the incident. 

She said he now had accommodation and a supportive partner which had enabled him to turn his life around. 

Jailing Cattermole for six months on Wednesday, Recorder Graham Huston said: "What is clear, whatever your grievance that day, is that you thought you could behave in any way you wanted. 

"In short, this was a very ugly and distressing incident, causing harm and distress to people at the station."

Recorder Huston added: "To spit in someone's face during the Covid pandemic is truly a disgusting and terrible thing to do. 

"You cannot behave how you behaved on that particular day."