Northern Ireland news

West Belfast 'alcoholic' attacks policeman a day after being released from jail

Pauline Burns is accused of lashing out as the officer responded to reports of another woman being pulled from a car.

A west Belfast woman attacked a policeman a day after she was released from jail, the High Court heard.

Pauline Burns is accused of lashing out as the officer responded to reports of another woman being pulled from a car.

Burns, 53, of Ballymurphy Road in the city, has pleaded guilty to assault on police and disorderly behaviour, prosecutors said.

Dismissing her application for bail, a judge ruled no suitable address was available.

Crown lawyer Conor Maguire described Burns as a "persistent and regular offender" with convictions for violence and public disorder.

He said the latest alleged offences were committed on August 11 - just 24 hours after her release from custody.

Police called to disturbances at Beechmount Grove in Belfast encountered Burns swearing and in a highly intoxicated state, the court heard.

"There were a number of children playing in the vicinity at the time," Mr Maguire said.

"The applicant was advised to try and keep calm, but she lashed out at a police officer, striking him on his arm."

Mr Justice Stephens was told on being arrested Burns replied that she is an alcoholic and couldn't remember the incident.

He held that the living arrangements advanced as part of the bail application were unsuitable.

The judge also said there was no package of measures to help ensure "the public can be safe from being abused and assaulted". ends

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