A former clerk of works who ate his own house keys while high on cocaine after being arrested for ramming his girlfriend’s car has been jailed for ten months.
Gerard Laughland, 37, slammed his Peugeot Partner Combi Estate into his partner’s Renault Clio after driving to her home in Cardross Street, Glasgow.
Falkirk Sheriff Court heard that the woman didn’t let him in as they were “not getting on”.
She then saw Laughland, whom she’d been with for six months, “reverse, then drive forwards, deliberately driving into her car, which was parked on the street”.
The impact forced the Clio onto the pavement, damaging the bumper and headlights. A watching neighbour described Laughland’s driving as “crazy”.
He then parked up and shouted up at the woman’s flat window that his “power steering had failed”.
She phoned police, and officers later arrested Laughland at his home in Falkirk.
As PC Callum Parnell was trying to get his house keys out of his pocket in order to lock up before taking him to the police station, he began to struggle.
Prosecutor Danielle McDonald said: “He then showed PC Parnell the inside of his mouth and said he had eaten his keys.”
He also threatened to strangle himself with a shoe lace.
Because of this, police took him to the Forth Valley Royal Hospital.
Laughland raged, kicked out striking both officers on the legs, bit PC Parnell twice after claiming to have hepatitis, and spat on the the hospital floor after claiming to have Covid.
Ms McDonald said: “He was shouting he had hepatitis, and as PC Parnell was trying again to search him for his house keys he bit PC Parnell twice. The first bite broke the skin on his middle finger, the second caused significant pain and bruising to his upper arm.”
Two more officers arrived and he called them “English b******s”.
He called officers “pigs” and used other derogatory language including calling one a Nazi.
An x-ray confirmed that Laughland had indeed swallowed his keys.
He was treated for this, but refused to have a blood test to ascertain what risk PC Parnell was facing, telling hospital staff: “Nah, let the cops sweat.”
PC Parnell had to have antibiotics, an anti-hepatitis injection, and three blood tests, over a period of six months.
Now unemployed, Laughland, a father-of-one, of Firs Street, Falkirk, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, police assault, and committing a statutory breach of the peace aggravated by prejudice related to disability and race.
The incidents occurred on April 4, 2021.
The court heard Laughland’s relationship with his girlfriend had ended.
Solicitor-advocate Stephen Biggam, defending, said Laughland had “a total breakdown of control”.
He said: “He had developed a very bad cocaine problem.
“He did swallow his own keys.”
Jailing Laughland for ten months and imposing a year’s driving ban, sheriff Craig Harris described his behaviour as “vile”.
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