Northern Ireland news

Woman (55) who spat on police officer jailed for three months

A 55-year-old woman who spat on a police officer has been jailed

A 55-year-old woman who spat on a police officer after being arrested for shouting and swearing in the street has been jailed for three months.

Belfast Magistrate's Court heard Pauline Burns was being a nuisance and keeping children awake at the weekend.

A judge was told Burns, of Glasvey Gardens in the Dunmurry area, has more than 180 previous convictions.

She pleaded guilty to new offences of assault on police and disorderly behaviour during her latest appearance in the dock.

Prosecution counsel Stephanie Boyd said officers had been called to an unrelated disturbance at Cliftonville Avenue, north Belfast, on Saturday.

Burns was not part of that incident but "wanted to involve herself", according to the barrister.

She started shouting and swearing in the street, and was warned about her behaviour.

Mrs Boyd continued: "A local resident reported this female was being a nuisance and keeping young children awake."

Burns was then arrested amid continued disorderly behaviour, spitting on the constable while en route to custody.

A PSNI officer told the court the defendant has 184 previous convictions, including more than 60 for similar types of behaviour.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall ruled Burns must be sent to prison.

Imposing the three-month term, she said: "I appreciate putting her into immediate custody isn't achieving anything, but if I give her a suspended sentence she will be back in a week."


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