UK: Woman with HIV/Hep C and mental health issues sentenced to 6 months for throwing sanitary pad at police


Drunk woman with HIV and Hepatitis C took a soiled sanitary pad from her underwear and threw it at a cop

May 12, 2020
Source: Manchester Evening News

A drunk woman diagnosed with HIV and Hepatitis C who shoved a used sanitary pad in a police officer’s face has been jailed.

C.C., 37, became ‘increasingly agitated’ after officers received reports of a woman who was suicidal in Trafford.

After spending some time trying to calm her down in the back of a police van, C. fled to a nearby takeaway shouting: “They’ve robbed me, help!” Manchester Magistrates Court heard.

C., from Timperley, was arrested for being drunk and disorderly.

As officers tried to take her home, C., who was clutching an empty bottle of wine, then threw her handbag towards the officers.

She was then taken to the police station for a risk assessment – when she reached into her underwear and threw a ‘soiled sanitary towel’ into the face of the investigating officer.

The police were already aware that she was marked positive for HIV and Hepatitis C.

Pleading guilty to assaulting an emergency worker and being drunk and disorderly, C. was sentenced to 26 weeks imprisonment.

Outlining the facts, prosecutor Robin Lynch said that the police were called out on Saturday (May 9th) at 9.15pm after receiving reports of a ‘suicidal female’ who was extremely intoxicated.

“They made their way to the area and saw the defendant who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, she was holding an empty bottle of wine and shouting at a nearby block of flats,” Mr Lynch said.

“Officers attempted to engage with her – she was described as being increasingly agitated.

“Officers were concerned for her welfare and wanted to take her home or to a friend’s house to make sure she was safe.”

They spoke to her for quite some time as she sat in the back of the police van.

However, C. began to shout ‘they’ve robbed me, help!’ and ran into a nearby takeaway.

She was then arrested for being drunk and disorderly.

As she calmed down, they decided to take her home, but as they attempted to do so, she grabbed her handbag and threw it in the direction of the officer.

She was then taken to Cheadle Heath police station, the court heard.

“In the custody suite the sergeant was going to perform a risk assessment on the defendant but she refused to answer any questions,” Mr Lynch added.

“They were concerned for her safety and so it was decided for her to be placed in a cell for her own safety.

“As they did so she reached into her underwear and threw a soiled sanitary towel in the face of the officer.”

The officer who was questioning the defendant said there was a ‘marker’ against her name saying she was positive for Hep C and HIV.

In a victim personal statement, she said she found it ‘disgusting’ that somebody would deliberately throw that at her.

She said that C. suffers from two ailments that could ‘change her life’.

C. was said to have many previous convictions including assaults on emergency workers.

In mitigation, her defence lawyer Paul Green said: “It’s a frankly terrible set of circumstances you have just heard.

“It’s quite appalling really.

“She is the first to admit that in the cold light of day.

“I tried to ask her what was behind this and she couldn’t tell me.

“She had taken methadone and she was intoxicated.

“There are mental health issues, she suffers with depression.”

A representative for the mental health team told the court that she is alcohol dependent and has mental health issues linked to opioid use and alcohol use.

She had previously been admitted to an acute mental health ward after overdosing on methadone, but discharged herself after a few days.

It was said she had since been under the care of the home treatment team, but she has refused to give them an address so they weren’t able to go and see her.

Sentencing her, District Jack McGarva told her: “It’s hard to describe what I think about what you did.

“It was an absolutely gross attack on a police officer just trying to do her job.

“It’s hard to imagine how she would have felt.

“This is a horrible attack on so many levels.

“Firstly, the risk of contamination of all sorts of illnesses.

“We are all conscious of the effect of some of these illnesses – several could be life changing or killers.

“Spitting is bad enough, but what you did is absolutely humiliating and degrading to the officer and I can’t think of much worse of what you had done to her.

“To make matters worse, you have a record for assaulting emergency workers.

“I have got some information about your mental health, which I acknowledge is fragile.

“I have to express public disgust of what you did and the only way to do that is to impose a prison sentence.”

C., of Oakleigh Court, Altrincham, was also ordered to pay £128 victim discharge.