AN ALCOHOLIC who had been sober for two years fell off the wagon and ended up getting Tasered after threatening a police officer with a pair of scissors, Haverfordwest Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday.
Stephen Gatt, 46, of Birchmead, Mount Estate, Milford Haven, pleaded guilty to common assault, in the form of threatening words and behaviour.
Peter Lloyd, prosecuting, told the court that on May 8 Gatt had made two 999 calls to the ambulance service.
Due to the content of the calls, the operator contacted the police.
“The operator told the police a male named Stephen called and said he had done a lot of drugs. He said he was going to shoot the police with his gun. He said he had lots of guns and wouldn’t go down without a fight,” said Mr Lloyd.
Police attended Gatt’s home address. On entering the property, officers heard shouting and swearing. PC 175 Jones witnessed Gatt swearing down the phone and threatening to assault anyone who entered his house. He saw a long silver blade in Gatt’s right hand, which was later found to be a pair of scissors with seven inch blades.
In a statement read to the court, PC Jones said: “He thrust it (the bladed weapon) towards me. He came towards me and I believed he was going to stab me.”
PC Jones drew his Taser, pointed it towards the defendant and told him to drop the weapon.
“The officer felt he was going to be attacked, so he deployed the Taser to protect himself and his colleagues,” said Mr Lloyd. “The officer was shocked and distressed, but not hurt. The defendant has seven previous offences against a person and many other offences on his record.”
Miss Katy Hanson, defending, said Gatt accepted he had had a lot to drink before the incident occurred.
“There was no injury to the officer – just the threat of injury,” said Miss Hanson. “My client has had a problem with alcohol all his life, but had been sober for two years prior to the evening in question. He had received some bad news about his sister, who is extremely unwell. When I saw him after his arrest, he had a large gash to the side of his head, which he suffered prior to the police arriving. He can’t recall in any way meaning to assault an officer. He accepts the officer may have felt threatened and doesn’t remember hearing a warning before being Tasered.”
Miss Hanson told the court that Gatt, who lives on benefits, has a “number of serious health conditions” including severe nerve damage in both legs, a slipped disk, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and anxiety.
“He has worked really hard in the past two years to beat his demons,” Miss Hanson added. “His support worker is sad to see him in court today and she says he has been making great progress. He has been in trouble in the past, but there is a gap in the past two years that fits with his making progress.”
Magistrates sentenced Gatt to a six month community order with alcohol supervision. They also ordered him to pay costs and a surcharge of £145 plus £50 compensation to PC Jones.
“You can fine me till the cows come home. I don’t care,” said Gatt, as he left the dock.