Jailed: Baldock thief who hurled homophobic abuse at arresting officer

PUBLISHED: 16:43 15 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:43 15 February 2018

Stevenage Magistrates' Court, where the hearing took place. Picture: Harry Hubbard

Stevenage Magistrates' Court, where the hearing took place. Picture: Harry Hubbard

Archant

A drug-addled thief who hurled obscene homophobic abuse at the police officer who arrested him has today been jailed.

Stevenage magistrates heard that 30-year-old Aaron Hunt, who had overdosed on a drug used as a sexual aid, threatened to sexually assault the arresting constable – telling him that “you won’t do anything because you’re gay”.

The court put Hunt behind bars for four weeks, with chairman of the bench Rosemary Bolton telling him it was the homophobic abuse that had made the case serious enough to merit jail time.

Hunt, of Chilvers Bank in Baldock, pleaded guilty to theft, assaulting a police officer and being threatening and abusive.

The court heard how Hunt was arrested at a friend’s house in Stevenage on February 8, seven days after he stole a £6.99 bottle of wine from a newsagent in Letchworth’s Station Road.

Prosecutor James Scott said unemployed Hunt – who last worked as a diamond driller – had claimed to have HIV and threatened to spit at the officer during an unprintable stream of obscene abuse and threats.

Raj Devitt, mitigating for Hunt, said he had been on heroin at the time of the theft, and when arrested was affected by an overdose of a “sexual aid for couples” called GHB.

“He can’t recall assaulting the officer or what he said as he was on drugs,” said Mr Devitt.

“He told me: ‘I don’t see why the police officer would be lying, and if I said it I apologise.’”

Mr Devitt added that Hunt was now using drugs less and looking to turn his life around, after a pattern of offending in the wake of difficult relationship breakups. He asked the court to impose a two-week jail term, which would have allowed Hunt to walk free from court due to time already served on remand.

But Mrs Bolton stressed Hunt’s “unenviable record”, which included a year-old conviction of assaulting three constables, and sentenced him to four weeks.

She told the defendant: “You have to bear in mind there was the homophobic element, and that has escalated our sentencing.

“The police officer was acting in line with his duties, and there’s no way he deserved to be treated the way you have treated him.”

Hunt replied: “I know.”

In addition to the jail time, Mrs Bolton ordered Hunt to pay £100 in compensation to the officer, as well as £6.99 for the stolen bottle of wine.

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