Two years behind bars for woman who punched, kicked, bit and spat at police and ambulance staff
- Credit: Archant
An Ely woman who punched, kicked, bit and spat at police and ambulance staff 10 times on consecutive days - even when they helped transport her to hospital - has been jailed for two years.
Sarah Smith, who has a history of assault, was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court to a total of two years in prison.
The 27-year-old pleaded guilty to 10 counts of assaulting an emergency worker – eight police officers, a member of police staff and an ambulance service worker.
On April 2, police were called out to Smith’s home address in Morley Drive to assist paramedics after she became violent and abusive.
While attempting to restrain her and transport her to hospital, Smith kicked, bit and spat at officers.
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On arrival at hospital and the removal of handcuffs, Smith punched one officer in the head and bit another.
The following day, police were called out to Smith’s address upon the request of probation officers; Smith had been released from prison just five days before after serving a 24-week sentence in connection with assaulting hospital staff and a police officer last autmn.
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She again spat at officers multiple times, including an ambulance service worker, and attempted to bite them.
Smith was arrested for assaulting emergency workers and while in custody at Parkside Police Station she again lashed out, spitting at a detention officer.
When sentencing Smith, Judge Cooper acknowledged the ‘enormous debt of gratitude owed to all emergency workers who are prepared to put themselves in danger’, commending each of the individual officers in this case for their conduct and in particular the ‘evident care and restraint with which they had managed this very difficult and disturbed defendant’.
Chief Constable Nick Dean said: “Police officers and staff are regularly subjected to violence and threats which too often result in injury.
“While the severity of such attacks change, the impact upon society does not.
“It is never acceptable to assume that assaults upon police officers and staff should be tolerated, it is not simply ‘part of the job’.”
“The public call upon the police to help them when they are most in need. We have a duty to protect the public, but we are all too often prevented from doing so due to violent individuals who choose to attack those who are there to help them.
“Most importantly it should be remembered that police officers and staff are people, they are fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. When they are attacked they become victims just like any other, but victims who have been attacked while trying to protect others from being victimised.”
“At this particular time, when the nation faces a public health crisis we need to rely on our frontline officers to support our NHS colleagues in keeping people safe more than ever. They cannot do this if they are injured and sick.
“The potential anxiety and stress caused by incidents such as this cannot be underestimated. This is a serious concern, not only for the officers and their colleagues but their immediate family.”