‘Despicable’: Dad jailedfor spitting in health worker’s face
A father-of-three from Logan seemed surprised to be taken into police custody at the Beenleigh Magistrates Court on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to spitting in the face of a health worker at the Logan Hospital.
Christopher James Cashman, 33, pleaded guilty to 13 charges, spanning from November to February, including seriously assaulting a public officer by spitting, unlawful possession of a semiautomatic pistol and contravening an order to allow police access to his phone.
The Magistrate described the most significant of the charges, the assault, as "a despicable act".
"It would have caused the (health worker) extreme distress that may be continuing to this day with the uncertainty around whether or not any diseases will manifest at a later date because of this act," he said.
"This is a person who is in that public role to assist and protect the public and in doing that job you assaulted them in a most serious and gratuitous manner."
The court heard Cashman and his partner had gone to the Emergency Ward of the Logan Hospital on January 14 to have an abscess examined and removed.
At the point of entry, a security guard informed the pair only Cashman could come inside the facility due to COVID restrictions.
Tensions rose and "it became a volatile situation", according to Cashman's lawyer, who said his client, who has been "on and off drugs throughout his adult life".
Cashman spat directly in the face of the hospital worker.
Police prosecutor Tim Wise told the court spitting in the face of an officer was considered a particularly serious offence, given the potential consequences that could arise from bodily fluids coming into contact with the victim's eyes, nose and ears.
A police search conducted at Cashman's home later revealed he was in possession of a semiautomatic pistol, a significant amount of ammunition and dangerous drugs.
The court heard Cashman had previously faced court for a number of like offences, the most notable of which occurred in 2017 when he received 30 months of probation.
Cashman received a head sentence of 12 months probation and nine months imprisonment, two months of which will be served in actual custody.
He will be released on July 18, 2021.
Cashman hung his head in his hands as he was taken into the dock by police officers, who said they'd inform his partner who was waiting outside.
Originally published as 'Despicable': Dad sent to slammer for spitting in health worker's face