A Belfast woman who punched a paramedic after her partner refused medical treatment has avoided prison.
Kerry Anne Deeds, 42, was given 100 hours community service by a judge who branded her as "a violent individual at heart".
Deeds, of Roseleigh Street in the north of the city, pleaded guilty to assaulting an ambulance worker.
Belfast Magistrates' Court heard she targeted the victim at her home on November 11 last year.
"He reported that he had been punched to the back by Kerry Anne Deeds when leaving the property after her partner refused medical treatment," prosecution lawyer Mark O'Connor said.
No injuries were sustained during the incident.
Defence solicitor Feargal MacElhatton said his client had immediately accepted culpability for what he claimed was a low-level assault.
"It was more akin to pushing than punching," he contended.
With Deeds having previously received suspended sentences for other assaults, she confirmed her consent to community service as an alternative to custody.
Stressing the seriousness of the offence, Judge Liam McStay declared: "These are people who are going into very difficult situations to help people who are themselves in need, and they are putting themselves on the line on a daily basis.
"For anybody to assault an ambulance worker in today's world is absolutely meritorious of a prison sentence."
He cited Deeds' previous record and ruled out a further period on probation, telling her: "You have had probation orders on three previous occasions and you are still a violent individual at heart."
But instead of imposing a jail term, Mr McStay ordered Deeds to carry out 100 hours community service.
"It involves work for the benefit of the community for no return to you," he added.
"If you don't attend and obey all work instructions... you would be looking at a prison sentence."