A FORMER soldier from Skipton will have a sober Christmas this year after admitting being in drink when he spat at a police officer in Hotel Rendezvous, Skipton.

Police were called in the early evening of November 12 this year to the Keighley Road hotel where Nathan Holmes, 34, and his partner were present at a boxing event.

Holmes, a soldier for four years in the British Army with the 1st Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, had been involved in a domestic incident with his partner and when police were called he became abusive and uncooperative.

Prosecuting, Nadine Clough said as police tried to restrain his legs to stop him kicking out  he spat in the direct of one, fortunately missing them but causing distress. She said he had a similar charge against him dating back to 2016.

Later in interview he apologised for his behaviour after being charged with common assault.

Mitigating, Keith Blackwell said his client spent 22 hours in a police cell after the incident and admits his disgusting and disgraceful behaviour and that as a former member of the British Army, appreciates he should have known better.

"Fortunately the spittle did not make contact with the police officer but it was still an unpleasant incident," he said.

Probation officer Andrew Watson said Holmes, from Skipton, but currently a ground worker in Bolton and living with his partner at Margroy Close, Rochdale, realised he needs to curtail his drinking. On the day in question he had consumed more than 10 pints of strong lager. .

Mt Watson said Holmes did not feel he had mental health issues but had been affected when his mother died 10 years ago and his grandmother just two weeks later.

He added he had a two-year-old son in Bradford who he never saw.

Since the incident Holmes had not had any alcohol and in the future was looking at either lowering his drinking or stop entirely. 

He had no drug issues and his violent behaviour was linked to alcohol use.

Magistrates sitting in Skipton agreed with Mr Watson's recommendation for a 12 month community order with 20 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR) days and a 120 days alcohol abstinence monitoring requirement which will start imminently and cover the Christmas and New Year period.

Magistrates also ordered Holmes undertake 80 hours of unpaid work.

The chairman of the bench said: "Your conduct was wholly and totally unacceptable. Your background should have made you aware of that."

In addition to the community order Holmes was ordered to pay a surcharge of £114 and prosecution costs of £85.