HIV-positive man jailed for spitting at cop
AN HIV-positive Winnipeg man will spend another year in jail for hitting a police officer in the face with his bloody saliva.
Clifford Bear, 42, was convicted earlier this summer of assault, theft and uttering threats in the August 2009 attack. A judge found him not guilty of the more serious charge of aggravated assault, saying he did not put the officer at "significant" risk of infection and there was a minimal chance of passing on the virus to his victim.
Bear was sentenced Tuesday to 12 months behind bars in addition to his eight months of pretrial custody. His lawyer had sought an immediate release.
"Your actions were despicable," said Queen's Bench Justice Deborah McCawley. "There are some who may say a spit in the eye is a minor offence, but there was certainly fear instilled in the recipient of this attack. It was an extremely difficult and traumatic experience."
Bear was initially arrested after stealing computer discs from a Main Street store. Bear told the arresting officer about his potentially life-threatening medical condition, then spat at him.
The officer was hit in the eye with bloody saliva and later underwent medical treatment that included a cocktail of anti-retroviral drugs. He suffered no injury and has been given a clean bill of health, court was told.