Spat blood on police who came to help

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When police went to help a 31-year-old woman who had taken drugs and alcohol she became aggressive with them and spat blood at three officers.

Christine West, Banbridge Road, Gilford, admitted a number of offences last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court.

She was fined £100 for unlawful possession of a class B drug, cannabis.

For three assaults on police officers she was sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

A two month sentence, also suspended for 18 months, was imposed for criminal damage to a police uniform.

The court heard that on June 18 last year at 2am police were called to the defendant’s home by her partner who said she was having an asthma attack.

She was struggling for breath and police used a nebuliser and gave her first aid.

West then started kicking out at police and was verbally abusive to them, calling them paedophiles among other things.

Her behaviour was erratic varying from striking out to apologising and leg and arm restraints had to be used.

She spat blood over three officers, hitting one in the face, and one was bitten while they were also scratched.

It was established that it was not asthma but her behaviour was down to drug and alcohol consumption.

Cannabis and a grinder were found. She said they belonged to her.

A barrister representing West said this was a serious case and that spitting blood was a disgusting thing.

He added that she split her own nose and was banging her head off the wall and was rotating the handcuffs to try and break her own wrist.

The barrister said it was a drug addled breakdown and she had completely lost the run of herself with an appalling sequence of behaviour.

He added that his client did have a relevant record and the matter did meet the custody threshold.

Deputy District Judge Liam McStay said the custody threshold had been clearly passed but conceded for a long period of time she had not come to the attention of the court.

He told West that she could not continue with this sort of behaviour and that drugs were not her friend.

The judge said that police had spent 45 minutes talking with her and she ended up kicking, biting and scratching them and spitting at them.

As well as the fine and suspended sentences he ordered West to pay £47.88 in compensation for the criminal damage.