A thug had been jailed for four years after a “shocking and violent” assault on woman in Aberdeen city centre – and then spitting in a cop’s face.
Richard McKeith threw the woman to the ground, kicking her and hitting her with her handbag before making off with it.
His victim was left sitting on the pavement with blood pouring down her face following the terrifying attack on Hadden Street on August 7 last year.
And the 28-year-old then went on to spit in a police officer’s face and claim that he had Covid-19.
Fiscal depute Felicity Merson played CCTV footage to Aberdeen Sheriff Court, showing McKeith and his victim sitting next to each other on a wall on Hadden Street before he suddenly grabbed her by the clothing and threw her to the ground.
The shocking footage, in broad daylight, then showed McKeith grab the woman’s handbag and hit her on the head with it, before dragging her on the ground and kicking her.
He then casually walked off with her handbag, leaving his victim sitting on the pavement with blood pouring down her face from a cut.
Mrs Merson said the woman suffered a small cut above her right eye, as well as bruising.
She said: “Within a few minutes, police had caught up with the accused in a nearby lane tipping out the contents of her handbag.
“He also had her cash in his grip.
“That was around 6.35pm.
“When police encountered him he was aggressive and unpredictable and was immediately handcuffed to the front and arrested in respect of the assault.
“He shouted and swore towards police officers.
“When a radio transmission from CCTV operatives came through detailing the accused actions shortly before, the accused became increasingly aggressive and attempted to get to his feet and tensed his body.
“He was therefore restrained fully to the ground while additional police units were awaited.
“He became more volatile, kicking out and making threats towards an officer.”
His threats included that he was “smack the life out of” the officer and “batter” him.
Mrs Merson said: “He looked directly up at the officer and spat at him.”
The majority of the spit landed on the officer’s uniform, but some landed on his face.
Mrs Merson went on: “He was immediately asked if he had Covid-19 or symptoms and he said he did.
“He made repeated references to having recently been within a bar which had been affected by the outbreak in Aberdeen at the end of July and that he should have got tested but he didn’t.
“Other officers attended and a spit hood was applied. The accused’s aggressive behaviour continued with kicking, shouting, swearing and threats.”
McKeith, a prisoner of HMP Grampian, pled guilty to assault to injury and robbery, resisting, obstructing or hindering police and assaulting an officer.
Defence agent Lynn Bentley said her client had been in custody over the matter since August 10.
She said the woman has spat in McKeith’s face as they sat on the wall, sparking the change in his behaviour and his “appalling conduct”.
She said: “He had been drinking. He accepts that he has behaved atrociously towards police officers simply doing their public duty.
“He has had an alcohol problem for a number of years.”
Sheriff Philip Mann told McKeith: “The assault on this woman was a shocking and violent assault and, although I have noted you were under the influence of alcohol at the time, that is by no means an excuse.
“You have quite a bad record and it seems to me all of these charges to which you have pled guilty quite easily pass the custody threshold.”
He added: “Spitting on someone’s face when you have stated that you had Covid-19 is a particularly disgusting and dangerous thing to do.
“It’s a very, very distasteful assault and has to be taken very seriously by the court.”
He jailed McKeith for a total of 48 months, backdated to August 10 when he was first remanded in custody.