| 10.5°C Belfast

Woman who assaulted and spat at officers in Belfast is jailed

Close

Lesa Knocker also urinated inside a PSNI van following her arrest

Lesa Knocker also urinated inside a PSNI van following her arrest

Lesa Knocker also urinated inside a PSNI van following her arrest

A "feral" woman who bit and spat at police officers after telling them she had coronavirus has been jailed for six months.

Lesa Knocker, 34, also head-butted one of them and urinated inside a PSNI van following her arrest in Belfast last month.

Sending her to prison, the judge stressed how London railway ticket officer Belly Mujinga died with Covid-19 after she was spat at while on duty.

Fiona Bagnall said: "We are hearing in the news in the last few days about the tragedy of that poor lady at Victoria Station who was just doing her job.

"These are very serious charges."

Knocker, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to four counts of assault on female police officers.

She also admitted obstructing powers to search for drugs, resisting police, criminal damage and assault on a designated police representative.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard police were called to city centre accommodation on April 3 amid suspicions one of the residents had drugs. Officers were taken to Knocker's room and attempted to search her.

She put a bag of items in her mouth and tried to swallow it, but was restrained and eventually released the suspected tablets.

A prosecution lawyer said: "The defendant informed police that she had Covid-19 and tried to spit on two constables."

At that stage she was arrested, struggling violently while being put into a cell van.

While being transported to a nearby station Knocker urinated inside the vehicle, and then head-butted another officer.

As police tried to remove her outer clothing she bit a sergeant on the hand and attempted to inflict further bites to her arms.

A civilian detention officer was also spat on amid attempts to arrange medical assistance.

Defence counsel Michael Boyd told the court his client was ashamed of her actions.

"Under the influence of drugs her behaviour can become feral and chaotic in nature," he said.

The barrister described Knocker's memory of what happened as "patchy".

He added: "Urinating in the van she feels wasn't done deliberately because of the condition she was in, but she does accept her guilt."

But despite Knocker's early admissions, Mrs Bagnall decided any credit for the pleas must be limited.

Imposing six months imprisonment, the judge said: "In the current circumstances we are all living through, there is strong aggravation in the comments made by her about having Covid-19 when she assaulted the police officers."


Belfast Telegraph