Hepatitis fears after officer bitten on knuckle
A POLICE officer bitten on the hand by a prisoner initially tested positive for hepatitis but has since been given the all clear, a court has been told.
Lismore-born David William Smith, 40, lunged at the police officer and bit him on the knuckle as he was being escorted from a cell at Caboolture Magistrates Court on October 1 last year.
Smith appeared in Brisbane District Court on Thursday where he pleaded guilty to the assault which occurred after the officer asked for his custody papers.
The court was told Smith scrunched them up then “lunged towards him with clenched fists”, biting the officer’s left knuckle and drawing blood.
Crown prosecutor Toby Corsbie said shortly before, he had been jailed for giving a magistrate the finger “with both hands”.
Mr Corsbie said the officer was only given the all clear on Wednesday after initially testing positive for hepatitis.
“A hepatitis test … initially came back positive,” he said.
“There have been some follow-up tests, they have come back negative.”
The court was told Smith was upset about the outburst and had “expressed relief” when he was told this morning that the officer’s results were clear.
Judge Michael Burnett labelled the attack “disgraceful” and said the officer had to live with the concern that he may have contracted a disease.
“He is a police officer simply doing his job, he ought not be subjected to this sort of behaviour,” Judge Burnett said.
“It was totally uncalled for.”
Smith was sentenced to 12 months’ jail.
After time already served, he was given immediate release. – NewsRegional