The West

Spratt jailed for police assault
Kevin Spratt has been sentenced to a 14-month jail term. Picture: Steve Ferrier/The West Australian

A man assaulted by police who repeatedly tasered him at the Perth Watch House has been sentenced to a 14-month jail term for a spate of offences, including spitting at officers, committed while he was suffering paranoid and delusional beliefs.

Perth Magistrate Robert Young said the offences committed by Kevin John Spratt over two days in January were so serious that a term of imprisonment was the only sentencing option.

Mr Young took into account that Spratt was affected by a mental illness at the time of the offences, having stopped taking his medication and returned to the use of methamphetamines.

He also took into account that the 45-year-old's offending had escalated since the tasering incident at the watch house in 2008, which had attracted significant media exposure and placed Spratt under the unwanted gaze of the public.

But he said police officers deserved special protection and it was not appropriate for the prison sentence to be suspended.

"Spitting is particularly serious form of assault and police need additional protection," Mr Young said.

Police officers Aaron Grant Strahan and Troy Gregory Tomlinson were each found guilty of three counts of assault over the tasering incident.

They were sentenced to fines of more than $3000 each and suspended jail terms the day before Spratt began committing 11 offences over two days from January 23.

Defence lawyer Hylton Quail told the court this morning that Spratt had been exposed to domestic violence and trauma as a child.

But Mr Quail said the father-of-six did not have a significant criminal record until he was aged in his 30s, when relationship breakdowns led to heavy methamphetamine use which was inextricably linked to his offending.

He said Spratt was suffering an acute situational crisis at the time of the offences, which included paranoid ideation and the belief that he was being followed and watched.

Spratt, who has been in custody for five months, will become eligible for release on parole after serving another two months behind bars.

The West Australian

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