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Police Officer Gets £1,000 Compensation From Spitting Culprit

Tuesday January 8 2013

A POLICE officer has been handed a £1,000 payout after being spat on.

Lee Birtles, of Rock Street, appeared before Barnsley Magistrate's Court last week after admitting assaulting PC Sarah Botham.

She was spat at while Birtles was being restrained at Barnsley police station.

PC Botham feared she had contracted hepatitis after swallowing some spittle in the incident although tests later proved negative.

The court ordered Mr Birtles to pay out £1000 in compensation - the highest amount it could order. He was also given a six-month curfew, and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge..

Mr Birtles claimed he had not intended to spit at PC Botham.

He said he had been pepper sprayed at the time of the offence and was spitting to get it out of his mouth. 

Magistrate Carole Howard said Birtles had come close to being jailed.

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