Trainee hairdresser spat on officer’s face

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A trainee hairdresser who spat on the face of a police officer, was given a three-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, at Magherafelt Magistrates Court.

Twenty-two-year-old Edele McKenna, of Port Villas, Portglenone, admitted charges of assaulting a police constable and sergeant on March 12 this year.

Imposing the suspended sentence, District Judge Alan White told McKenna it had been “disgraceful behaviour.”

Mr White told the defendant if there was any more offending from her over the next two years she would go into custody.

A prosecuting lawyer said police were called to an ongoing incident and had occasion to speak to the defendant about it.

She said while being handcuffed the defendant moved her head back and tried to hit an officer on the face.

Counsel said McKenna then put her foot in the door of the police car and spat at an officer, hitting him on the face.

When she was taken into custody she lifted her leg in the air, coming down heavy on the side of an officer’s neck.

A defence lawyer said the assaults arose out of “an alcohol fuelled incident”.

She said the defendant was addressing her alcohol problem, which was a feature in her life before she left home at the age of 18.

Counsel said unfortunately for the defendant the incident happened just a few days after the court had given her a combination order.

She pointed out McKenna had enrolled in a hairdressing course and was keen to pursue this as a career.

The lawyer pleaded with the court to allow her to do this and not to impose an immediate period of custody.