Bangor man jailed for spraying fire extinguisher and grabbing policeman's throat

Reporter:

Staff reporter (NW Chronicle)

A man accused of spraying a police sergeant in the eyes with water from a fire extinguisher and grabbing the officer’s throat at a Bangor hostel has been jailed for 16 weeks.

Mathew Williams, aged 26, who gave an address in Mount Street, Bangor, was punched by the policeman, who shouted “stop strangling me!”.

He then released his grip and was handcuffed, magistrates at Caernarfon heard.

Court chairman Peter Talbot told Williams: “You should be ashamed of yourself for your conduct on that night.”

He must pay £300 compensation to the officer and £250 compensation for damage at the hostel.

The magistrate said the assault was a “particularly serious attack”.

Williams had appeared in court previously and pleaded guilty to assaulting Sgt Douglas Hughes, causing actual bodily harm, early on April 29, as well as using violence to secure entry into Pendinas Hostel and criminal damage to garden benches, three windows, the extinguisher and a door.

Prosecutor Diane Williams said Williams had lived at the hostel after being freed from jail but was refused entry after returning under the influence of drink.

He removed his T-shirt and punched a window and turned over benches, the court was told.

The prosecutor said a worker dialled 999 and police arrived.

Sgt Hughes, 22 years an officer, was hit with high-pressure water. 

He used his incapacitant pepper spray but was grabbed to the throat and suffered discomfort.

Andrew Scott, defending, said Williams, who is unemployed, could not remember what happened.

The probation service were recalling him to prison and he realised the only option for the magistrates was a jail term.

Mr Scott said: “The letter shows Mr Williams does have an insight into the offence and is genuinely ashamed of his actions.” 

Williams believed someone might have spiked his drinks, Mr Scott added.

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