Curfew for man who spat at police

AN unemployed Ipswich man who spat in the face of a police officer is facing a curfew today.Gary Higginson, 47, of Pelican Close, Ipswich, assaulted the officer after he had been arrested for drunken behaviour at the cricket match between Ipswich Town Football Club and Ipswich and East Suffolk Cricket Club.

AN unemployed Ipswich man who spat in the face of a police officer is facing a curfew today.

Gary Higginson, 47, of Pelican Close, Ipswich, assaulted the officer after he had been arrested for drunken behaviour at the cricket match between Ipswich Town Football Club and Ipswich and East Suffolk Cricket Club.

Lesla Small, prosecuting, told South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, said: “He was asked to leave the cricket pavilion which had a list of guests that were allowed to be in that area.

“He was heavily under the influence of alcohol. He did smell of illicit liquor and his words were slurred.”

Higginson still refused to leave and started swearing loudly in front of children.

When a female police officer tried to calm him down he became abusive to her and he was eventually arrested.

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He was taken to Ipswich police station where another officer began to search him. Higginson then spat on the officer's face, with phlegm landing on his cheek and a substantial amount in his mouth.

Higginson said: “That felt so good, spitting in your mouth.”

Ms Small said the unprovoked assault left the officer feeling less confident about his job and searching people in the future.

Higginson pleaded guilty of assaulting a police officer and causing harassment, alarm or distress.

He told the court: “It was accidental. I wouldn't spit in anyone's face. I had no intention of getting in trouble.

“It was the first time I've been to a cricket match in 33 years and I didn't like it to be honest, so I was better off in the bar.”

Higginson was given a three month community order by magistrates including a curfew order between 5pm and 5am every day.

He was also ordered to pay £200 in compensation to the officer he spat at.

Should people who assault police officers be dealt with harshly? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.