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ӣƵ teenager bit police officer on buttocks and ripped woman’s hair out

(38561992)

A 17-YEAR-OLD girl attacked three police officers – biting one on the bottom – and assaulted a woman by ripping a clump of her hair out as she dragged her to the ground and kicked her.

The Youth Court also heard that the teenager, who cannot be named due to her age, had previous convictions for alcohol-related violence.

She admitted grave and criminal assault, assaulting the police officers, causing a breach of the peace and breaking and entering, and was sentenced to 140 hours of community service.

But she was warned that the offences could have resulted in a custodial sentence, and was told that if she returned to court she could be jailed.

Legal adviser Samantha Morris, prosecuting, said the most recent offences had occurred within the space of five days.

On 17 March she had been among a group of youths who had broken into the Grand Hotel and stolen £65 worth of alcohol.

The legal adviser said: “Others went in and took the alcohol. She was loitering at the open door.”

Two days later she was arrested after a fight outside McDonald’s in Halkett Street. She became aggressive, kicking one officer in the leg repeatedly and leaving another with bruises to her neck and forearm.

Then, on 21 March, the girl found herself locked in the public toilets in Parade Gardens.

Two women sought to help her and the moment she was released she lashed out at one of them.

“She pulled her down by the hair and kicked her multiple times,” Ms Morris said. “She pulled a clump of her hair out.”

Two police officers arrived to restrain the girl. “She bit one of them on the buttocks. The officer was wearing police uniform and the bite did not pierce her skin.”

Asked by Assistant Magistrate Adam Clarke why she had attacked a woman who had tried to help her, the girl said she had been drunk and had believed the woman had locked her in the toilets.

Advocate Heidi Heath, defending, conceded that the girl was deemed to be at high risk of reconviction, but said the offences were due to her drinking and the people she associated with.

Advocate Heath said: “She tells me she hasn’t drunk at all since these offences.”

Of the breach of the peace in Halkett Street, the advocate said: “It was provoked but it was not justifiable, and she knows and accepts that.”

She added: “She has changed her friendship group. It hasn’t happened again.”

The lawyer also said that her client had at first refused to accept a community service order because she didn’t understand what they were, but was now willing to comply.

The Assistant Magistrate told the girl: “A grave and criminal assault against a member of the public and three assaults on police officers could merit a prison sentence.”

But he instead sentenced her to community service and a six-month probation order, warning her: “If you fail to comply with that, the next court might have no choice.”

He added: “Hopefully we won’t see you back here again.”

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