Dungannon woman bit officer in drugs escape bid


A Dungannon woman who bit a police officer during an attempt to make off with drugs from the station will discover her sentence in April.

Appearing before East Tyrone Magistrate’s Court was Keara Elsha Nora McKeown, 21, from Greer’s Road.

The court heard how she attended Dungannon Police Station on June 11 last year. Staff noted that she was “acting erratically” and appeared to be under the influence.

An ambulance was called while McKeown spoke to a female constable. She handed over a number of items including a packet containing suspected herbal cannabis.

Ms McKeown refused to go with the ambulance and then snatched the drugs from the table before getting into a struggle with the officer. During the incident she bit down on the constable’s arm.

She continued to display aggressive behaviour in the cells, escaping her handcuffs and kicking out a number of times at the legs and arms of the constable and also attempting to run out of the cell.

Having entered pleas of guilty to four charges, Mr Karl Mallon, defending, told the court that his client was no longer taking drugs or consuming alcohol, claiming that her lifestyle had completely changed after being in a “very vulnerable state” for much of 2015.

Releasing McKeown on £300 bail, District Judge John Meehan adjourned sentencing so that the defendant could take advantage of a pre-sentence report.

“We are not going to leave a litany of police officers bitten and off work ... I have a fundamental concern for the protection of officers.

“She is looking at immediate custody,” he warned.

She also pleaded guilty to two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on August 26 and one charge of criminal damage to a police van.

She further admitted resisting police as well as the theft of a ring worth £190.

The cases are adjourned until April 6.