Homeless man jailed for biting police officers

Steven Mumford was sentenced to 14 weeks imprisonment at Oxford Crown Court on Tuesday (April 2) after pleading guilty to one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of obstructing a constable.

The 41-year-old was being arrested for an unrelated matter on January 28 this year when he kicked one officer who was trying to restrain his legs and bit a second officer on the arm.

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Sentencing Mumford, Judge Maria Lamb said: “There are aggravating features. This was while you were on police bail for a matter that did not proceed and you have a number of previous convictions including assault.

“I accept that are mitigating features here that you have problems and difficulties with your mental health and you’re struggling with alcohol.

“I give you credit that you are doing work in prison to sort some of these out and I hope you do.”

Opening the case, prosecutor Kathy Oliver explained that Mumford had previously been arrested on suspicion of assaulting his partner, Laura Vaulter, on January 26.

He was released on police bail but two days later, police received a call that Mumford was seen allegedly choking Miss Vaulter.

Police attended Cornmarket Street where the pair were sleeping rough and proceeded to arrest Mumford.

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“He was difficult during arrest,” said Ms Oliver.

“He was holding onto Miss Vaultner and she was holding onto him.

“It goes on for 10 minutes. Police were trying to put restraints on him, he was rolling on the floor and kicking out.

“He kicked one of the others in the face. He then tried to strangle another officer.”

Mumford then managed to bite an officer on the arm before he was successfully arrested.

He has been in custody since the incident but any charges concerning Miss Vaultner have not been pursued and she was present in court as he was sentenced.

Defending Mumford, his barrister Mr James said: “It was an unfortunate incident, it’s a very strange incident.

“The reason the assault of the young lady was discontinued is because the CCTV shows she assaulted him, not the other way around.

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“That perhaps explains the frustration Mr Mumford felt as being treated as the perpetrator when police arrived because he was being arrested for something he hadn’t done.

“He went into a rather frantic episode.”

Mr James requested an adjournment for a pre-sentence report but Mumford stated he’d prefer to be sentenced immediately.

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