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Woman 'spat on police saying she had coronavirus,' during drugs bust, Belfast court told

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The accused was arrested after blue tablets, suspected to be crack cocaine, were found by police.

The accused was arrested after blue tablets, suspected to be crack cocaine, were found by police.

PA Archive/PA Images

The accused was arrested after blue tablets, suspected to be crack cocaine, were found by police.

A woman allegedly bit and spat on police officers after declaring she had coronavirus, a court has been told.

Lesa Knocker is also accused of head-butting one of them and urinating over a PSNI van following her arrest in Belfast.

She was detained during the seizure of a suspected quantity of crack cocaine last Friday.

The 34-year-old, of no fixed abode, remained in a special Covid-19 custody unit while proceedings took place in her absence at Belfast Magistrates' Court.

A constable said: "She is currently still naked in the cell, spitting at anybody coming near her."

Knocker is charged with four counts of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, all against policewomen.

She is further accused of obstructing powers of search for drugs, resisting police, criminal damage and assault on police.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall was told officers were called to city centre accommodation amid suspicions that an illicit substance had been found.

"She (Knocker) informed police on arrival that she had Covid-19 and tried to spit on them," the constable alleged.

The accused was arrested after blue tablets, suspected to be crack cocaine, were discovered in a room linked to her.

During the incident she allegedly head-butted one officer, bit another on the hand and tried to bite their arms.

According to police Knocker also urinated over a cell van and spat on an officer before being taken for medical assistance.

"In interview she informed police that she was displaying symptoms (of coronavirus) and had been told to self-isolate," the constable added.

"She was coughing on one officer, and has been in the Covid-19 suite since Friday."

No defence lawyer was present to make submissions on Knocker's behalf.

Refusing bail, Mrs Bagnall remanded her in custody to appear again by video-link on April 16.

The judge said: "I'm reluctant about handing a problem over to another government agency that doesn't need it, but there's nothing else I can do in the circumstances."

Belfast Telegraph