Drunk who spat on police in Grangemouth avoids jail – for now

editorial image

A drunk who spat on a police officer after being taken into custody has narrowly avoided jail.

Mark Cowan was already on bail for another offence when he was arrested in Bo’ness Road, Grangemouth, on November 2 after a row at his parents home.

The 43-year-old appeared for sentence at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday.

At an earlier hearing he had pled guilty to assault and behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting and swearing and uttering religiously aggravated remarks and been remanded for social workers to complete background reports.

Depute procurator fiscal Graham McLachlan told Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday that police were in the area regarding another inquiry.

He said: “He got irritated and spat in one officer’s face.”

Mr McLachlan added Cowan also caused bother in the police vehicle taking him to the local police station.

Defence lawyer Andy Bryson claimed Cowan’s life had been “blighted” by alcohol abuse.

He said: “Nearly all his convictions have been the result of offences committed when he has been drunk. He has periods of sobriety when he stays out of trouble, but then falls off the waggon.

“When he is sober and responsible he is welcome to his parents home, but when he is drunk he is not. When he turns up there drunk his mum phones the police.”

Sheriff John Mundy opted not to send Cowan, from 41 Almond Street, Grangemouth, to jail – this time – and placed him on a supervised community payback order for 18 months instead.

But he also told him he will have no contact with his parents over that period unless his supervising officer agrees to it, will also complete 150 hours unpaid work in nine months and attend an alcohol treatment programme.

Sheriff Mundy said: “Parents should not have to put up with behaviour like this.”

And he warned Cowan: “The easiest thing for me to do today is to send you to jail. I would have no problems at all with that.

“However, I’m just prepared to follow the recommendations of this report as a direct alternative to custody but you should be aware this is the last chance saloon for you.

“I have to say I wish I had the authority to impose a short jail sentence then a community payback order, but I can’t do that.”