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Woman 'head-butted man at takeaway and broke police officer's finger', court hears

By Alan Erwin

A woman accused of breaking a man's nose and a female police officer's finger in separate drink-fuelled attacks must remain in custody, a High Court judge ruled today.

Danielle Donaldson allegedly launched a head-butt assault on one victim at a takeaway in Portadown, Co Armagh.

Prosecutors also claimed the 22-year-old bent back and fractured the finger of a policewoman called to a hostel where Donaldson was said to be "terrifying" other residents earlier this month.

Refusing bail, Mr Justice Deeny said: "The court has a duty to protect police officers."

Donaldson, of no fixed address, faces charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, disorderly behaviour, criminal damage, resisting arrest and four assaults on police over the two incidents.

The court heard she went into the takeaway on Thomas Street last August and started to scream incoherently.

Prosecution counsel claimed she also head-butted a man on the premises, inflicting a broken nose. Donaldson was said to have lashed out at police called to the scene, kicking and spitting at officers, and repeatedly striking her own head off the pavement.

Although she was subsequently released, further violence allegedly flared on May 12 at a hostel in Lisburn, Co Antrim where she was staying.

As police tried to restrain her she grabbed a female officer's finger and bent it back so far it broke, the court heard.

Donaldson again started hitting her head off a PSNI vehicle and claimed to have taken a overdose, forcing a diversion to hospital, according to the prosecution.

Defence barrister Peter Coiley said his client has been hit by alcohol and drug problems.

"It's perhaps an inability to hold her drink that has led her to this court," he added.

Denying her bail application, however, Mr Justice Deeny held there was a risk of re-offending.

The judge stressed: "Police have a difficult job in arresting members of the public who are under the influence of drink or drugs."

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