Hep C carrier found guilty of spitting on police officer

IN A gross display of disrespect, a man spat on the face of a police officer putting them at risk of contracting a potentially life-threatening disease.

Michael Jason Lawrence, 41, was found guilty of serious assault of a police officer in Rockhampton District Court last Friday.

During the four-day trial, the court heard evidence from the police officer who was spat on by Lawrence, a hep C carrier, last year.

He told the court police and ambulance were attending to an uncooperative Lawrence, who had suffered a prescription drug overdose and was outside a residential address.

Lawrence feigned a punch at a paramedic who injected him with valium to calm him down, causing them to flinch.

The police officer then stood between the two and pushed Lawrence back, fearful he would take control of the syringe.

Lawrence took up a fighting stance and began to form spit in his mouth leading the officer to grab his face and move it to the side.

As the officer was trying to move Lawrence to the ground, he heard a 'hocking' noise and felt warm liquid run down his cheek near his mouth.

The situation escalated on the ground to a "flurry of punches", requiring three other officers to step in and try to subdue Lawrence.

Lawrence has served three previous terms of imprisonment and has convictions ranging from property and drug offences to common assault.

Judge David Reid sentenced Lawrence to 12 months imprisonment with parole eligibility on April 11, 2017.

Topics:  crime imprisonment rockhampton district court serious assault serious assault of police spitting

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