Man with mental health condition spat at baby on street

A British man who admitted assaulting several people who touched their noses has been found guilty of spitting at a six-month-old baby.

Stephen Jackson, 49, of Dixon Court, Carlisle, who has ben diagnosed as suffering from Schizophrenia, pleaded guilty to four allegations of assault by beating, and a further charge of common assault, on five women, between February and March.

Jackson admitted that when the women took out tissues to wipe their noses, or touched their noses, Jackson slapped and hit them across the head, saying “don’t sneeze in front of me”.

Jackson pleaded guilty at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court to assault by beating against the five women. However, he denied two further public order offences.

A judge found him guilty of spitting at a baby who was being pushed in her pram by her mother in Carlisle. 

He was also found guilty of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to a man who has Down syndrome. He called the man a “mongrel” while the man was waiting with his foster carer outside the city’s Tesco.

District Judge Gerald Chalk described the latter offence as a “disability hate crime” and warned him that he faced jail, describing his actions as “grossly offensive”.

 The case was adjourned for pre-sentence reports.

Prosecutor Peter Kelly told Carlisle Magistrates’ Court that the two public order offences were “random incidents, without any apparent logic, on two different days”.

The baby’s mother had been out in Carlisle on February 3, pushing her infant child in her pram, when Jackson put his foot on the pram. He said: “She became aware of a man approaching. For no apparent reason, he simply spits at the child in the pram. 

"The spittle, fortunately, doesn’t strike the baby, because of the way the baby is protected by the carriage. It was obviously a very upsetting and distressing incident for her.”

Jackson will be sentenced at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court on October 5.


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