MAGISTRATES gave a man a suspended prison sentence for what they deemed an "exceptionally serious assault" on an emergency worker.

The court heard that James Britton spat at a police officer in an attack that was deemed "not acceptable at any level" by the presiding magistrate at Pembrokeshire Law Courts.

It was described how, between March 30 and March 31 in Haverfordwest, the culmination of everything that had happened to Britton in the last two years "erupted in one night".

Britton, of the town’s Coronation Avenue, got into an argument with his ex-partner. Police were called to the incident and the situation escalated.

He assaulted two police officers while trying to resist arrest after being charged with assault by beating.

Prosecuting solicitor Sian Vaughan described how one police officer was kicked in the groin while another officer was spat at in the face.

Britton, 29, was in Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on June 22 facing five charges, three of assault by beating – two of them on emergency workers, one charge of resisting arrest and one charge of damaging an officer’s uniform.

He had previously pleaded guilty to four charges at the first opportunity, but for the charge of assault on his ex-partner Britton didn’t offer a guilty plea until the day of trial.

In mitigation, defence solicitor Tom Lloyd said Britton had been finding it difficult to gain access to see his child.

Mr Lloyd went on to say: “His behaviour when the officers arrived was disgraceful. The culmination of everything that has happened to him in two years erupted in one night.”

Magistrates described spitting as a weapon and summed up the case by saying it was an attack on two police officers, there was a domestic violence element, and there was an assault on a policewoman.

On sentencing, the presiding magistrate said: “Attacks on women are not acceptable at any level and attacks on emergency workers are also not acceptable. I am sure that this court or any other court will not accept this any longer.

“It is up to you to manage and handle how you talk with women. If you need assistance with that get help.”


For the charge of assault on his ex-partner, Britton was given a 16-week prison sentence. For the charge of assault on the police officers, Britton was given one 16-week prison sentence and one 26-week prison sentence.

He was also given an eight-week prison sentence for damaging a police officer’s uniform.

All sentences are suspended for 12 months and will run concurrent.

Britton will pay £650 compensation to his ex-partner and £500 to each police officer.

He was also placed under an indefinite restraining order not to contact or approach his ex-partner in anyway and not to attend an address in North Court, Haverfordwest.

Britton will pay costs of £650 and a surcharge of £128.