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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 September 2005, 15:23 GMT 16:23 UK
Man jailed for warden spit attack
Dennis Samms - picture courtesy of the Manchester Evening News
Samms was jailed for 56 days
A man who spat at a traffic warden when he was told his tax disc was out of date has been jailed for 56 days.

Dennis Samms, 42, of Kingfisher Close, Manchester, spat in the warden's face and drove his car at him in Manchester, the city's magistrates heard.

Samms pleaded guilty to assaulting John Hallhouse, 24, after his saliva was tested with a DNA testing "spit kit".

Deputy District Judge Jack McGarva said it was a serious offence and he found Samms' spitting "disgusting".

He told Samms the parking attendant was a person serving the public, and that his actions had put his victim in a state of fear and distress.

Traffic warden John Hallhouse - picture courtesy of the Manchester Evening News
Mr Hallhouse was writing the ticket when Samms appeared
The court heart Samms had suffered feelings of anger, bitterness and depression after a stroke.

Dianne Oliver, prosecuting, told the court that Samms told the warden: "I can't wait to see you in another life - I'll get you some day".

A DNA swab was taken from dried saliva deposits on Mr Hallhouse's clothes which was used as evidence against Sams.

Peter Casson, defending, said Samms "fully accepts that he handled the situation in a wholly inappropriate way.

"He says that given the opportunity he would like to personally apologise to the warden for the way he behaved.

'Right message'

"He has brought shame not only on himself, but on his family and his friends."

The judge said half of the sentence should be served within the community.

NCP, which operates the city's traffic wardens, introduced DNA testing kits to protect staff from assaults at their depot in Ardwick in May.

About 80 members of staff at the depot have been trained to use them.

Tim Cowen, director of communications for NCP, said: "We welcome this sentence. It demonstrates that the courts are prepared to take these issues seriously, and it sends out the right message to a minority who feel that it is acceptable behaviour to assault parking wardens who are just doing their job."

DNA proves spit attack on warden
07 Sep 05 |  Manchester
Bus drivers to get spit test kits
21 Jan 05 |  South Yorkshire
Bus drivers given DNA swab kits
01 Sep 04 |  London
DNA spit kits for traffic wardens
13 Aug 04 |  Scotland

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