A Catalina man has been jailed for up to 18 months after spitting in a police officer’s face twice in one night.
Leslie Vance Hood, 48, of Catalina, pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting a police officer without causing actual bodily harm.
He was sentenced in Batemans Bay Local Court on Monday, December 3.
Police said officers were attending a home in Catalina in relation to an alleged domestic incident when Hood walked past and spat into the face of a senior constable.
A short time later, Hood returned and once again spat on the same officer.
At the time, Hood denied deliberately spitting and claimed he had only sneezed on the officer.
In court on Monday, Hood said he did not remember the incident.
“It was stupid; I have no recollection of it,” Hood said.
The defence claimed Hood, who had given up alcohol for some time, had decided to drink on the night of the incident and “did not remember what set him off”.
“He suspects it was maybe because police were getting in his face,” the solicitor said.
Magistrate Doug Dick said Hood’s behaviour would not be tolerated.
“You chose to spit on a police officer just because he was a police officer,” Mr Dick said.
“You didn’t do it once, you did it twice.
“I need to protect police officers. I am going to send a very clear message to you and the community that this is not to be tolerated.
“If you assault a police officer by spitting on him, you’re going to go to jail.”
Court documents showed Hood had a lengthy criminal history, with several police assault convictions.
Mr Dick handed him a sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment, with nine months’ non-parole.
“To be frank, I’m not going to miss you,” Mr Dick said in sentencing.