Drunken woman spat blood into faces of police officers trying to help her - The Rugby Observer

Drunken woman spat blood into faces of police officers trying to help her

Rugby Editorial 20th Jul, 2020 Updated: 20th Jul, 2020   0

AN INJURED Rugby woman assaulted two policewomen who were trying to help her and spat blood into their faces, hitting one of them in her mouth.

But despite one of the female officers also suffering a cut to her forehead, their attacker Carly Lane was jailed for just five months by a judge at Warwick Crown Court.

The 31-year-old, of St Andrews Crescent, had pleaded guilty to two charges of assaulting an emergency worker.

Prosecutor Tariq Shakoor said early evening on April 17 the police were called to Lane’s home following a report of a domestic incident between her and her partner.

When Pc Chloe Norris and Pc Sabrina Manzella arrived they found that Lane, whose two children aged five and nine were also in the house, had a deep wound to her forehead.

The two officers spent some time with Lane, who was under the influence of alcohol, and she was ‘relatively co-operative to begin with.’

“She is told she will have to have the wound treated, and an ambulance is called. There are discussions about child care, and the police gave her some basic first aid.

“The defendant then entered the living room where her children were and slammed the door behind her, catching her finger – and she believed the officers were responsible and was accusing them of laughing at her.”

Mr Shakoor, who pointed out that the officers’ bodycams showed that was not the case, said Lane then stormed upstairs.

When the officers followed her she began hurling vile abuse and shouting at them to get out of her house, and at the top of the stairs she pushed Pc Norris to the shoulders with both hands.

The officer warned Lane not to push her down the stairs and grabbed hold of her hands, while Pc Manzella also tried to restrain her.

Lane did not calm down. She shouted abuse and punched both officers.

While being arrested she spat saliva and blood towards the officers.

“Officer Manzella is hit in the face as the defendant says ‘There’s your ***** corona,’ and officer Norris can taste blood in her mouth.”

As a result of the incident Pc Norris had a small cut to her forehead and grazes to her face, while her colleague had bruising and swelling to her chin – and they both had ‘obvious health concerns’ and had to undergo tests at hospital.

When Lane was later interviewed she apologised and said she was disgusted by her behaviour towards the two officers.

David Everett, defending, said Lane, who had had a drink problem since the age of 17, had sought help following a drink-driving conviction last year.

But during the Covid-19 lockdown her ex-partner moved into her home because of the difficulty in him travelling to see the children.

“On the day of the offences she had a bad day which led to her buying some vodka, and she began to drink.”

Mr Everett said Lane had showed ‘significant remorse,’ and argued that she did not need to be sent to prison.

Jailing Lane, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC said: “At this time this country faces an unprecedented threat from Covid-19.

“On the front line of the fight against that virus are the emergency services interacting with the public.  They deserve, and will have, the timely protection of these courts.

“At times when so many of them are putting themselves in harm’s way to protect others those who abuse that can expect swift and condign punishment.

“You had called those officers for help, and they were acting in the best interest of you and your children.

“I would have said this type of offence is not prevalent, but I am now dealing with my 10th or 11th accused who has spat at police officers since March.  This type of conduct is wholly unacceptable.”

The maximum sentence for assaulting an emergency worker is 12 months, but if Lane had been charged with causing actual bodily harm, she could have been facing a maximum of five years.

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