A DRUG addict who stabbed a police officer in the hand with a used needle has been jailed.
PC Luke Evans faces an anxious wait for test results after being stabbed by James Anthony Hewitt as he attempted to restrain him in the female public toilets near Waterworld in Wrexham town centre.
Hewitt told officers ‘I’ve got a syringe and I’ll use it’, before lunging at them repeatedly.
On one occasion the needle went through PC Evans’ glove and came into contact with his skin.
At a hearing at Wrexham Magistrates Court Hewitt, 43, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer and two breaches of anti-social behaviour orders.
Justin Espie, prosecuting, told the court Hewitt had been seen engaging in a lewd act near to the recycling bins at Tesco on Crescent Road on February 6.
Security guards from the supermarket called the police but Hewitt left the scene before they arrived.
Later on, after receiving information there was a man in the female toilets near Waterworld, police, including PC Evans attended the scene.
Officers entered and found Hewitt naked from the waist down.
When asked to put his trousers on, Hewitt refused and told police he had just injected himself with drugs.
A used syringe was seen on the floor of the cubicle.
Hewitt told officers he needed to use the toilet but was angered when they would not let him close the cubicle door.
Officers went to arrest Hewitt but he picked up the syringe from the cubicle floor and shouted ‘I’ve got a syringe and I’ll use it’, before lunging at them.
Hewitt was repeatedly told by police officers to put down the syringe but refused.
He swore at officers, waving the needle around and repeating the threat to use it on them.
PC Evans’ hand was on the door frame to prevent Hewitt from closing the cubicle but his hand slipped and as Hewitt made a stabbing motion with the needle, it went through PC Evans’ glove and made contact with the skin of his left palm.
Officers attempted to use pepper spray on Hewitt through the cubicle door but it had no effect and he continued making a stabbing motion with the syringe.
PC Evans was described as ‘visibily shaking’ from the incident when other officers went into cubicles either side of Hewitt and sprayed him from above.
They disarmed Hewitt after spraying him again.
Mr Espie described the attack as ‘a sustained attempt to use a syringe on a police officer’ and added that although PC Evans had no visible injuries after the attack, he was awaiting blood test results to determine whether he had contracted anything from coming into contact with the syringe.
By consuming alcohol in a public place, Hewitt also breached the terms of an anti-social behaviour order he was subject to.
And the incident happened while he was on bail for a previous breach of his ASBO, when on January 24 he was found to be in possession of an open can of lager at Wrexham Bus Station.
Justine McVitie, defending, said Hewitt had no recollection of his behaviour as he had consumed two litres of vodka and a litre of sherry on the day in question.
She added he did not realise he had entered the female toilets and was naked because he injected heroin into his groin.
Hewitt was ‘extremely remorseful and sorry for his behaviour’, she said.
Judith Barlow, chairman of the magistrates’ bench, said the incident was so serious ‘only custody is appropriate’.
She sentenced Hewitt to 26 weeks in prison for the assault on PC Evans and 26 weeks for the second ASBO breach, to be served consecutively.
Mrs Barlow also ordered the confiscation and destruction of the syringe.
No further punishment was issued for the ASBO breach.