Belfast Telegraph

Woman attacked police who stopped her jumping into River Foyle, court told

A PSNI officer told Derry Magistrates Court that the 28-year-old was arrested yesterday after a bench warrant had been issued for her arrest when she failed to turn up for an earlier court appearance (stock photo)
A PSNI officer told Derry Magistrates Court that the 28-year-old was arrested yesterday after a bench warrant had been issued for her arrest when she failed to turn up for an earlier court appearance (stock photo)

By George Jackson

A woman who was threatening to jump into the River Foyle later launched a hospital assault on two police officers who had come to her aid, a court has been told.

Nichola Leonard, who is originally from Enniskillen but who lives in sheltered accommodation in Bonds Hill, Londonderry, is a mother of three children, all of whom are in care.

A PSNI officer told Derry Magistrates Court that the 28-year-old was arrested yesterday after a bench warrant had been issued for her arrest when she failed to turn up for an earlier court appearance.

He said on April 30 the police received reports that a woman was threatening to jump into the Foyle.

The two officers who responded to the call managed to restrain her before pulling her back.

She was extremely intoxicated and had difficulties in standing before she collapsed unconscious.

The officers were concerned for her wellbeing and took her to Altnagelvin Hospital for treatment.

However, when she regained consciousness she became aggressive to the officers and to medical staff in front of other patients and children.

Leonard ripped medical equipment off her arm and asked to go to the toilet.

On her way there she again collapsed.

The officers tried to hold her up and she again lashed out at them - biting one of them on the forearm and spitting into the face of the other officer.

They applied limb restraints, and on the way to the police station Leonard repeatedly spat at them.

Objecting to bail, the police witness said Leonard was at the time under a suspended sentence for assaulting another police officer.

He said she had six breaches of court bail and three other breaches of court orders.

A defence barrister said Leonard admitted to assaulting the two officers and also to disorderly behaviour in the hospital. The barrister said she accepted that Leonard's offending had crossed the custody threshold and applied for her to be released on bail pending the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

District Judge Barney McElholm released Leonard on her own bail of £500 until she is sentenced on August 9. But he warned her that if she breached her bail conditions she would be remanded into immediate custody.

As part of her bail conditions she will be subject to an 8pm to 8am curfew and she will be electronically monitored.

Leonard is also banned from consuming alcohol and illegal drugs.

If you, or anyone close to you, is affected by any issues in this article, please contact the Samaritans free on 116123 or Lifeline on 080 8808 8000

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