'Disgusting scenes': Drunk homeowner spat in policewoman's face and tried to choke another when officers were called to illegal lockdown garden party in Seacroft

A police officer was spat at, one was choked and another had her pepper spray taken from her after they were sent to deal with an illegal lockdown party at a house in Leeds.

The officers were attacked and abused by the drunken mob during the incident at Ronald Thompson's home on Kentmere Avenue, Seacroft.

Thompson, 44, spat in a female officer's face and put his arm around the throat of another during incident on May 29 last year.

Leeds Crown Court heard West Yorkshire Police officers were sent to the property after reports of a gathering and loud music.

Kentmere Avenue, Seacroft

Graham O'Sullivan, prosecuting, said the incident took place during the coronavirus lockdown.

Thomson, 44, and seven other people were in the garden and appeared to be drunk.

The disturbance began when four of the people at the property admitted they did not live there and were told they should not be there.

The officers were verbally abused, with one of the group saying "they should looking for paedophiles in Rotherham."

The officers took one man out of the garden because he refused to give them his name.

Mr O'Sullivan said the man was arrested so the officers could ascertain his name.

Thompson then ran up and spat in the face of one of the officers.

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The defendant pushed the officer to ground during the struggle.

As attempts were made to place Thompson in handcuffs, Kyle Fletcher jumped over a hedge to try to prevent Thompson from being arrested.

The 19-year-old grabbed hold of the spray holder from the officer's belt and threw it on the ground.

Thompson then attacked the officer who tried to detain Fletcher.

He approached the officer from behind and put his arm around her throat, applying pressure.

He was eventually tackled to the ground and detained.

The officer provided a victim statement to the court describing how she was "particularly worried" about being spat at during a pandemic.

As the case was being outlined in court by the prosecutor, the judge hearing the case, Recorder Tony Hawks, stopped proceedings as Thompson began shaking his head in the dock.

When asked why he was shaking his head, Thompson replied: "It's disgusting that I did that."

Thompson, of Kentmere Avenue, pleaded guilty to three counts of assaulting an emergency worker.

He has previous convictions for assault and affray.

Fletcher, of Beech Lane, Gipton, pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting an emergency worker.

Fletcher has no previous convictions.

Fletcher was made the subject of a 12-month community order and told to complete 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

Thompson was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He must also complete 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days

Describing footage of the incident, Recorder Hawks said: "It was a disgraceful scene when officers were just trying to do their best."

Sentencing, he told Thompson: "Life is difficult enough in this country at the moment.

"That is something you were sadly lacking.

"On May 29 last year, you and your partner decided to have some sort of all day drinking session at your party.

"Leaving aside the fact that this was entirely a breach of Covid-19 regulations, I regard it as a serious factor that you as a mature man would be allowing young people to get drunk at your premises."

Describing the incident, Recorder Hawks said: "Instead of co-operating you chose to revert to type and behave in an aggressive manner to female police officers.

"You spat at them in a time of a national pandemic. It was disgusting.

"Police officers have a difficult enough job to do without people like you creating a scene of public disorder.

"When you are next tempted to have a skinful and cause a disturbance when things are not going your way, or you get uppity with a police officer or a member of the public, think about what happened in this courtroom today."