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Former soldier given unpaid work for spitting at police in Dundee

tayside dundee fife police sexual
Youens tried to spit on police after being arrested.

A former soldier who spat at a police officer has been spared a prison sentence following a letter of commendation from his former commanding officer.

John Youens said he was ashamed of his behaviour and had written to the police officer to apologise to her.

Youens also admitted cutting himself with a knife following a violent stand-off with police in October 2020.

He further admitted making threatening phone calls to a resident of Rosendael veterans residence later the same year.

The court heard the man had missed a call from Youens.

He listened to the voicemail which had been left, in which Youens threatened to “snap his jaw in half”.

Apology letter

Speaking in mitigation for Youens, defence solicitor Lee Qumsieh said: “He does have struggles with mental health and alcohol misuse.

“You can see from the letter he wrote to the police officer how bad he felt about the incident.”

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael sentenced Youens to 18 months supervision and 150 hours of unpaid work.

He said: “These were very serious matters. They do fall within the custodial zone.

“I think, because of your military background (a letter from his former CO and the report), there are non-custodial options available.

“I will also impose a period of unpaid work.

“This is a direct alternative to custody. Do not make a mess of this.”

Police deployed PAVA spray

Youens, 41, became involved in an incident on Kinghorne Walk in Dundee in October 2020 after a day of drinking with his former partner.

After they had a disagreement Youens cut himself with a knife, before acting aggressively with officers who came to deal with the matter.

After being detained he spat in the direction of a female PC.

At Dundee Sheriff Court, Youens admitted acting in a threatening and abusive manner and assaulting the police officer on October 7 2020.

Depute fiscal Michael Sweeney previously told the court: “The accused is 41 and unemployed.

“He had been in a relationship with the complainer for around four months.

“The accused took a knife and cut his arm.

“Police were called, they attended the property and the accused came out.

“He was shouting and swearing at officers.

“An officer deployed PAVA spray.

“At the charge bar the accused continued to act in an erratic manner.

“He told the officers he would put bricks through their windows.

“He then turned to PC Leah Harvey and spat towards her.

“The spit did not land on her.”

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