A man has been jailed for assaulting a Metro employee and a policeman while they were on duty.
Anthony Minett, 31, of Kenton in Newcastle, was given a 16-week sentence when he appeared at North Tyneside Magistrates Court on Monday. He pleaded guilty to racially aggravated common assault and assault on an emergency worker.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, said the quick and immediate jail sentence following the attack last Friday was a welcome sign that the police and courts are supporting its frontline teams in the job they do.
The offences occurred at around 10.10pm on Friday, 26 June. Minett, who was described as heavily intoxicated, was passing through the Central Station ticket concourse when he was asked to refrain from drinking alcohol and to leave the station. He refused and confronted a Metro customer service advisor before assaulting them and then leaving the station.
Minutes later, officers from Northumbria Police and British Transport Police (BTP) stopped Minett on nearby Grainger Street – where he racially abused one of the BTP officers and spat at him. He was subsequently arrested and taken into custody.
The aggravating features of the case were the racial abuse and the offender spitting on a member of the Metro customer service staff. Spit kits were used to obtain Minett’s DNA.
Detective Constable Paul Main, of Northumbria Police, said: “Anthony Minett should be absolutely ashamed of his actions and I welcome the custodial sentence handed to him in court.
“Police officers and Nexus staff come into work each day to keep people safe – but Minett showed a total disregard for their welfare when he committed these crimes.
“I hope this case highlights how seriously offences of this nature are being taken in the light of the current pandemic.
“The fact that he was arrested, charged, convicted and jailed all within the space of 72 hours is testament to the fantastic teamwork displayed by officers from Northumbria, British Transport Police and Nexus staff, who greatly assisted in order to put this case before the courts.
“We do not apologise for our zero-tolerance stance towards this type of behaviour and will continue to put offenders who abuse officers and staff before the courts.”
Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “The custodial sentence sends out a strong message that verbal and physical assaults on our staff will not be tolerated. It’s totally unacceptable.
“It’s great that we were able to work so quickly with the police to ensure that this case has had a satisfactory outcome and the person that did this is now behind bars.”