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Man who kicked and bit police officers spared jail because prisons are full

A man who kicked and bit police officers after they were called to a disturbance was spared jail due to the prisons being full.

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Wolverhampton Magistrates Court

Michael Peek, 34, was on Monday sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court sitting at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court for a string of assaults.

Mr Thomas Griffiths, prosecuting barrister, said Peek was arrested in May 2021 after reports he held down a woman during a row over car keys after drinking three cans of beer and a bottle of wine.

When officers arrived Peek tried to resist arrest kicking one officer three times in the groin and a biting a second officer. After being given bail at the magistrates court the defendant then failed to turn up for his trial over the assaults, resulting in a warrant being issued for his arrest.

He was again arrested on December 27 last year when officers were called to an incident at Peek's then workplace at Wolverhampton Carpet & Flooring, in Cleveland Street, where he was described as being "abusive to staff and making threats to kill someone".

Mr Griffiths said during that incident Peek again scuffled with the officers who attended. He swung his arms hitting a constable twice on the head and was sprayed.

The court heard he had three previous convictions for three offences including assaulting a police officer in 2018.

Mr Aaron Payne, mitigating, said the defendant was remorseful for his actions and quickly apologised to the officer following his latest arrest. He said his relationship with the woman had broken down and he was currently unemployed.

Peek had initially pleaded not guilty to three counts of assault relating to 2021, but on the day of the second trial he changed his pleas to guilty. He pleaded guilty to the latest assault committed in 2022.

District Judge Ian Strongman told Peek: "It is right to day prisons are full at the moment and courts are being advised to suspend terms where possible. I am minded to suspend the sentence that I have imposed today."

The judge added the case should have been completely dealt with by the magistrates instead of being transferred to the crown court list.

Peek, of no fixed abode, was jailed for a total of five months suspended of one year. He must attend 20 rehabilitation activity days and was ordered pay £300 compensation to the officers.

He was also made subject to a restraining order for three years meaning he must not contact the female victim in any way except through solicitors and the family court in the period.

There was no order for costs or victims' surcharge.