Northern Ireland news

Woman jailed for punching and spitting at police officers during Twelfth parade

Belfast Magistrates Court heard Nicola Nicholl became violent and abusive

A WOMAN who punched and spat at police officers on duty for a Twelfth of July parade has been jailed for four months.

Belfast Magistrates Court heard Nicola Nicholl became violent and abusive after travelling to the city for the annual celebrations.

The 29-year-old, of no fixed abode in Carrickfergus, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour and assaulting three police constables.

She targeted the officers carrying out evening parade duties at Botanic railway station in south Belfast last month.

As they dealt with a separate incident, a heavily intoxicated Nicholl began to push them, according to the prosecution.

She became verbally abusive, shouting obscenities to police, a Crown lawyer said.

Nicholl was restrained but then punched one of the constables in the chest.

"She also spat at two officers, spitting to the chest and head of one, and to the arm of another," the prosecutor added.

"In total three officers were assaulted by the defendant."

Defence counsel set out how Nicholl had spent the day in Belfast for the Twelfth of July parade.

"It's quite clearly a very unsavoury incident, all fuelled by alcohol," he acknowledged.

The court heard Nicholl "relevant and substantial" criminal record is linked to a long-term drug addiction.

But imposing a further prison term, District Judge Anne Marshall pointed out that she has been jailed in the past for previous assaults on police.

Ms Marshall confirmed: "The appropriate sentence is another four months in custody."

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