Belfast Telegraph

Woman who spat on police officer during arrest for disorderly behaviour jailed

By Alan Erwin

A 60-year-old woman who spat on a police officer arresting her for disorderly behaviour in west Belfast has been jailed for three months.

Mary O'Neill also slapped a civilian member of staff after being taken into custody last Friday, prosecutors said.

Sending her to prison, a judge described it as a "desperately sad" case of offending which has started relatively late in life.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard O'Neill, of no fixed abode, had been causing disturbances in the Falls Road area.

She was shouting aggressively with a crowd round her when police arrived on the scene.

Despite being asked to calm down she had to be detained after the verbal abuse continued.

At that stage she spat on a PSNI constable who carried out the arrest, the court heard.

In custody O'Neill then slapped a police designated person on the face.

She pleaded guilty to charges of disorderly behaviour and two counts of assault.

Her lawyer confirmed the offences were committed just days after she had previously been released from custody.

"This is a 60-year-old lady who finds herself before the court for anti-social behaviour," he said.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall warned O'Neill she was in danger of increasing prison terms.

Imposing a three-month sentence, she added: "Unless there's a significant intervention in some way we are just going to keep seeing this patten reoccur."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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