A ROYAL Navy sailor was discharged from the service after spitting on two police officers and kicking a paramedic on the head, a court has heard.

David Smith reacted angrily after the emergency services went to his aid when he was seen falling out of a taxi near Faslane's south gate and lying unconscious next to the road.

The 32-year-old appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court for sentencing on Friday after pleading guilty to three charges of assault and one count of threatening or abusive behaviour as a result of the incident, which happened on November 24 last year.

The Crown accepted a plea of not guilty to a further charge against Smith alleging that he had failed to pay a taxi fare from West Clyde Street in Helensburgh to Faslane.

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Gemma McKechnie, prosecuting, told the court: "It was just after midnight when a taxi driver picked up the accused, who asked to take him to HM Naval Base Clyde.

"Just before one o'clock, police carrying out duties around the base observed the accused leaving a taxi and then lying motionless at the side of the road.

"Further police were called to attend and administered first aid. The accused regained consciousness and began acting aggressively towards the witnesses.

"He began shouting and swearing and kicking out at a turnstile at the south gate.

"He was handcuffed but resisted officers' attempts to arrest him by pulling his arms away, and then struck a metal pole with his head.

"Paramedics were called. He stated he was going to kill himself.

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"He struck a metal cabinet with his head, and had to be restrained to be examined. At this point he spat on the police witnesses, striking one of the in the eye.

"On a journey to the Royal Alexandra Hospital he struck a paramedic in the face with his knee, causing the witness's glasses to break."

Smith's solicitor, Alan Murdoch, said: "He is totally remorseful towards all the victims. It's completely out of character for him. He has never been in trouble with the police before.

"He fell out of the taxi and banged his head while it was still moving."

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Mr Murdoch told Sheriff John Hamilton: "He lost his job after three and a half years' military service as a result of this incident and is willing to accept any punishment you deem necessary."

Sheriff Hamilton told Smith: "This was a shameful display of behaviour.

"I accept there were some extraneous circumstances that made life difficult at the time, but I hope Mr Murdoch is correct that you are remorseful – listening to what the fiscal has said, it was a despicable course of conduct, fuelled by drink.

"You have been discharged from the Royal Navy, unsurprisingly, because of your conduct.

"If any of those factors had been missing the likelihood is you would have been going to jail for this."

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Instead of a prison sentence, Smith, of Cramwell Road in Liverpool, was handed a community payback order which will see him supervised by social workers for 12 months.

He was also ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid community work – reduced from the maximum of 300 because of his guilty pleas – by April next year.

Sheriff Hamilton warned him: "If you fail to comply with any aspect of this order you can be brought back to court, and the court can impose any punishment which would have been competent today – and in your case, that will almost inevitably mean custody."