Sailor who spat in police officer’s eye is thrown out of Royal Navy

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A sailor who spat in a police officer’s eye and broke a paramedics glasses during a drunken rampage at a Royal Navy base has been kicked out of service.

Submariner chef David Smith, 32, was dropped off at HM Naval Base Clyde in Faslane, Scotland, by a taxi after a night out but was so drunk he fell out of the vehicle and passed out. 

Police patrolling the base – home to the UK’s nuclear weapons – spotted him and went to help, only for Smith to start shouting and kicking at them when he regained consciousness.  

Officers handcuffed him and put him in an ambulance, but Smith then started banging his head on a metal cabinet and threatened to kill himself.

Smith then spat in one officer’s eye and kneed a paramedic in the face, breaking his glasses. 

He was kicked out of the service over the incident last November and was hauled before Dumbarton Sheriff Court, where he admitted three charges of assault and one of threatening or abusive behaviour. 

Prosecutor Gemma McKechnie said: ‘It was just after midnight when a taxi driver picked up the accused, who asked to take him to HM Naval Base Clyde.

‘Just before 1am, police carrying out duties around the base observed the accused leaving a taxi and then lying motionless at the side of the road.

‘Further police were called to attend and administered first aid. The accused regained consciousness and began acting aggressively towards the witnesses.

‘He began shouting and swearing and kicking out at a turnstile at the south gate.

‘He was handcuffed but resisted officers’ attempts to arrest him by pulling his arms away, and then struck a metal pole with his head.

‘Paramedics were called. He stated he was going to kill himself. He struck a metal cabinet with his head, and had to be restrained to be examined.

‘At this point he spat on the police witnesses, striking one of them in the eye.

‘On a journey to the Royal Alexandra Hospital he struck a paramedic in the face with his knee, causing the witness’s glasses to break.’

Defending, Alan Murdoch said: ‘He is totally remorseful towards all the victims. It’s completely out of character for him. He has never been in trouble with the police before.

‘He fell out of the taxi and banged his head while it was still moving.

‘He lost his job after three and a half years’ military service as a result of this incident and is willing to accept any punishment you deem necessary.’

Sheriff Hamilton told Smith: ‘This was a shameful display of behaviour.

‘I accept there were some extraneous circumstances that made life difficult at the time, but I hope Mr Murdoch is correct that you are remorseful – listening to what the fiscal has said, it was a despicable course of conduct, fuelled by drink.

‘You have been discharged from the Royal Navy, unsurprisingly, because of your conduct.

‘If any of those factors had been missing the likelihood is you would have been going to jail for this.’

Smith was given a community payback order which will see him supervised by social workers for 12 months, and ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid community work.

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