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Paramedic attacker avoids jail

A woman who attacked two paramedics after she was discovered lying near a busy Belfast road has avoided jail.

Melissa Armstrong received a five-month suspended prison term for slapping and shoving ambulance staff making repeated attempts to help her.

The 24-year-old, of Rutherglen Street in the city, admitted two counts of common assault.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard she was discovered lying drunk by the side of the Ormeau Road in October last year.

Despite efforts to help her she walked out into traffic, heightening concerns for her safety.

The ambulance workers were assaulted as they tried to escort her to a taxi rank.

A defence solicitor stressed Armstrong has suffered from personality disorders and addiction issues.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall acknowledged "her start in life was appalling" but insisted that attacks on medical staff warranted a custodial sentence.

Belfast Telegraph