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Assault charges mum was one-woman crime spree, High Court told

By Alan Erwin

A defendant described as a "one-woman crime spree" fought in a hospital, attacked a supermarket worker and repeatedly headbutted police officers during a six-month campaign of violence, the High Court has heard.

Ciara Craig also assaulted a bar manager, damaged a taxi depot and threatened to slit her neighbour's throat as part of alcohol-fuelled outbursts in her native Limavady and surrounding areas, prosecutors said.

The 35-year-old mother, from Anderson Crescent in the town, faces a series of charges including multiple counts of common assault, criminal damage, threats to kill, disorderly behaviour and assault on police.

Adjourning her application for bail, a judge described her behaviour as "outrageous". Mr Justice Horner said: "I cannot release her with the risk she would continue to drink and continue to abuse and physically attack citizens and members of the police force."

Craig is accused of nine separate sets of offences between October 2016 and March 2017.

In one incident she allegedly grabbed a female bar manager by the hair and tried to pull her to the ground, before going on to abuse staff at a taxi office and breaking a glass panel.

Police were also called to a report of her fighting with another woman outside Altnagelvin's accident and emergency department last October.

A week later she allegedly went into Tesco's in Limavady, called a member of staff a "b******", hit him on the side of the head and continued to swear at him as he walked away. Crown lawyer Stephanie Boyd said Craig was arrested again on November 30 after disturbances at her home woke a neighbour.

She was allegedly standing in her back garden shouting up at the other woman and her son: "I will slit your throat."

The court heard details of further incidents earlier this month where Craig was said to have lunged at police and shouted obscenities.

She tried to bite one officer and headbutted another, causing a lip injury, according to Mrs Boyd.

The barrister contended: "While she continues to consume alcohol she is, as police have described, a one-woman crime spree."

Defence counsel accepted his client's behaviour was "utterly unacceptable".

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